Unemployment checks

State officials say federal automatic budget cuts will lower an unemployment benefits program for people in Washington.

The Employment Security Department announced Wednesday that beginning on May 19 "emergency unemployment compensation" will be reduced by 21.08 percent under the so-called sequester. Emergency unemployment compensation is a federally funded program that is available for people who run out of state-funded benefits.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – In this era of plastic, Washington still issues unemployment benefits the old fashioned way: by check. That's a stark contrast to neighboring Oregon where jobless benefits are loaded on a debit card. So what are the trade-offs?

Currently in Washington about 180,000 people are receiving unemployment. Half of them are signed up for direct deposit.

The rest get a check in the mail. It costs the state 45 cents to issue each check – most of that is postage.

Flickr, by khalilshah

Nearly 100,000 people in Washington will get letters this week, letting them know how soon their unemployment benefits will run out.  Emergency assistance for the long-term jobless has expired.  

AP

A massive computer programming project is putting a slight delay on some unemployment checks in Washington.