Unemployment Insurance Measures Included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, as of July 2009

GAO-09-942R: Published: Jul 27, 2009. Publicly Released: Aug 6, 2009.

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This letter is in response to Congressional request to provide information on measures in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) to augment unemployment compensation. Unemployment has risen sharply in the current recession, with the June 2009 rate reaching 9.5 percent of the labor force nationally; 15 states and the District of Columbia have unemployment rates exceeding 10 percent. The Recovery Act enacted measures that expanded unemployment compensation benefits for individuals and provided additional funding to states to pay and administer these benefits. These measures include an extension of benefits under Extended Unemployment Compensation (EUC) through 2009; Unemployment Insurance (UI) "modernization" grants to states that expand eligibility according to specific criteria; an increase in weekly benefits of $25; and an exemption of the first $2,400 in unemployment benefits received by individuals in 2009 from taxation.

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