Ill. faces cuts as federal unemployment aid ends

CHICAGO — About 90,000 people in Illinois will stop receiving unemployment benefits when a federal emergency program ends later this month.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Tuesday that the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program will expire Dec. 29.

The program provides unemployment insurance benefits beyond the initial 25-week program administered by the state.

Illinois officials say after Dec. 29, an additional 2,800 people each week will complete the state program and be unable to collect federal benefits.

The state also could see its funding cut an estimated $27 million because of the change. That's because the department's funding is based partly on the number of people collecting unemployment.

The department says the cuts come as unemployment claims remain 38 percent higher than before the recession.

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