First $2,400 is Tax Exempt in 2009

As crazy as it sounds, in the past the unemployed were taxed 10{0f0fc6bf5bd959fc253a0668ee6b669dcca87a64289522d38fccac0cb86058d7} for the benefits they receive from the government. But for 2009, the first $2,400 is tax exempt.

Benefits Go Up ~$25 In general, unemployment benefits will go up to $25 per week. Its not a lot, but in these times every little bit helps.

The Bill for Monthly Health Benefits Goes Down

For those of you that decided to continue your health-care plan by signing up with a Cobra Plan, you should begin to be subsidized for 65{0f0fc6bf5bd959fc253a0668ee6b669dcca87a64289522d38fccac0cb86058d7} of the monthly health bill. But, of course, you need to be eligible which basically means you were laid off due to no fault of your own and you were laid off between September 1st, 2008 and December 31st, 2009. And, even if you decided not to apply for Cobra via Conexis, a 3rd Party Employee Benefits Administrator, after being laid off, you can still sign up and get the monthly subsidy.

The Catch – While the government has good intentions by implementing this program, the process is a bit convoluted. The government DOES NOT actually pay the 65{0f0fc6bf5bd959fc253a0668ee6b669dcca87a64289522d38fccac0cb86058d7} of your monthly health-care bill upfront. Your former employer must pay the 65{0f0fc6bf5bd959fc253a0668ee6b669dcca87a64289522d38fccac0cb86058d7} and then at the end of the year, your former employer can receive a payroll tax credit for the total amount they paid for the year. In addition, it is up to your former employer to provide Conexis & the Government with the proper forms by April 18th, indicating that you are eligible for the subsidy. So as you can imagine, most companies right now are hoarding cash because of the tough economic times, as a result, this process might move slow. Our best advice is to inform your former employer & Conexis immediately if you are eligible for the government subsidy. And, for those of you that have already applied, continue to be persistent in reminding Conexis and your former employer of your entitlement.