13-week extension for Utahns on unemployment may see delay


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Those nearing the end of the unemployment benefits in Utah may see a delay in their 13-week extension.

According to Kevin Burt, Unemployment Insurance Division Director, they are working to get the extension built into their system but said this was the last phase they worked on based all time needed to get pandemic unemployment issued to all recipients.

Related: Why some are losing their unemployment by returning to work part time

The 13-week extension would right now generally only be affecting individuals who were on unemployment prior to the pandemic, as the maximum amount of weeks someone can be on traditional benefits is 26. Not every qualifies for the full 26 weeks, that is based on your prior employment and income.

Burt said that is one of the reasons the 13 week extension program was put as the last phase in implementing a new system to keep those benefits going.

The surge in traditional unemployment benefits (those who have an employer) has been setting record numbers since March. On top of that, DWFS had to build a program to help individuals receive the extra $600 pandemic federal funds and a new system had to be built for those who are self employed like stylists or gig workers, who do not normally qualify for unemployment but now do under the CARES Act.

Related: Here is why Utahns are still waiting on Pandemic Unemployment checks

As outlined in the CARES Act, the 13-week extension is only for those receiving traditional benefits. It would extend their maximum amount of weeks in receiving benefits and is not to be confused with the $600 a week pandemic payment that has been promised through the end of July.

Related: Here’s what you need to do if you can’t pay rent

Burt said they are hoping to have the 13-week extension built into their system by the end of May and it will be backdated when someone lost benefits but said it will not go back to prior to the start of the CARES Act as long as those individuals continued to file their weekly claims.

For more information you can go to Jobs.utah.gov.

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