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Is your unemployment claim running out? Here's what should happen next | Dollars and Sense

There are extension programs available. The Employment Development Department says it will let you know if you qualify, and enroll you automatically.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It’s a question that many of you have texted to the Dollars and Sense team: “When my unemployment runs out, do I apply for an extension, or is it automatic?"

Since the coronavirus outbreak began in March, programs have been added to help those whose regular unemployment benefits are about to expire.

Normally, you can only get unemployment benefits for 26 weeks in a 12-months period, but now Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is available. According to the Employment Development Department (EDD) website, they’ll automatically sign you up for the program, which will extend your benefits another 13 weeks.

After that, another program called the Federal-State Extended Duration extension, or FED-ED, kicks in.

According to EDD spokesperson Loree Levy, "If you run out of your 26 weeks of benefits on your regular claim, then you run out of 13 weeks of that PEUC extension, then we are going in and trying to identify who those people are and automatically filing, if you’re eligible, for that next 20-week FED-ED extension.”

From there, EDD will let you know whether you qualify. "Once that’s done for you, watch your updates on the UI Online account and certify right away for that time period that’s covered and we’ll get that benefit payment out to you, if you’re eligible," said Levy.

PEUC will be available through December 31st, 2020, and FED-ED will continue until California's unemployment rate drops below a certain level.

If you have a money question for ABC10's Dollars and Sense team, text it to us at (916) 321-3310.

WATCH MORE: Top mistakes people make when filing for unemployment benefits with EDD in California