OLYMPIA -- About 150,000 jobless workers in Washington will take a pay cut beginning Sunday when a federal stimulus program that added $25 to weekly benefit checks expires.
The $25 increase was authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The program expires today.
Since May 2009, nearly 400,000 jobless workers in Washington have collected more than $500 million from this additional benefit, which was not offered on new claims that were opened after May 2010.
"When your check is only two or three hundred dollars a week, $25 is significant," Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause said in a news release. "The federal stimulus benefits have not only enhanced unemployment lifeline for our jobless workers, but also pumped money into local businesses."
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Washington's average weekly benefit is about $370, while the minimum weekly check is $135.