SEATTLE - Unemployment benefits are about to run out for thousands of Washington's jobless as the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program is set to expire later this month.
In the past five years, the federally funded program has paid $6.3 billion in unemployment benefits to more than 452,000 jobless workers in the state, according to the Employment Security Department.
Right now in Washington, those without work are eligible for up to 63 weeks of unemployment benefits, and the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program helps cover 37 of those weeks. But, after Dec. 28 that money will no longer be available for most Washington workers.
Since starting the program in 2008, Congress has extended it 11 times, but Washington's Employment Security Department says there is currently no indication it will be extended again.
Those benefiting from the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program will receive notice the program is ending via email, phone calls and direct mail.
If Congress or the President decides to approve another extension, Employment Security will notify eligible individuals.