By John CÃ¡diz Klemack and Neil Costes | NBC4SouthernCalifornia
Thousands of California residents are about to lose their federal unemployment benefits because of the loss of a federal extension.
Mathew Pauley is among the 93,000 people in California set to lose benefits on Saturday. Until recently, he thought he had two remaining months of benefits.
“Thought I didn’t have to worry, I was already getting the federal extension,” Pauley said.
That extension, known as FED-ED in California, won’t be available after May 12, reducing the total number of weeks that Californians can collect benefits from 99 to 79.
The end of the extension is actually good news for the state because it means California’s economy is getting better, said Loree Levy of the California Employment Development Department.
“In order for the state to qualify for the program you have to have a high unemployment rate,” Levy said. “Certainly California does have a high rate, but it’s not 10 percent higher than what it’s been over the last three years, and that is a requirement of the program.”
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