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Federal jobless benefits ending for some in RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island is phasing out extra federal unemployment benefits for some jobless residents who have exhausted their state benefits.

The state Department of Labor and Training said Monday that, as of Aug. 10, the jobless won't be able to qualify for 10 extra weeks of "Tier 4" federal emergency unemployment.

Anyone who starts collecting before then may continue until the benefits run out. About 6,600 Rhode Islanders are collecting extended unemployment, including 1,200 in Tier 4.

The benefits are ending because the state's three-month average jobless rate of 8.9 percent is below the 9 percent threshold to qualify.

State-funded regular unemployment maxes out at 26 weeks, after which federal benefits kick in. After the phase-out, the total number of weeks of unemployment available in Rhode Island will drop from 73 to 63.