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2,200 area workers receive extended aid

Almost 2,200 northwest Ohio residents have been receiving the federal extended unemployment benefits that President Bush and Congress agreed to renew yesterday.

The recipients from 18 area counties account for 9 percent of the 23,300 Ohioans receiving federal benefits. The federal benefits, which are good for up to 13 weeks, begin after state benefits, which are good for up to 26 weeks, are exhausted.

The President signed the renewal measure yesterday after the House of Representatives passed a measure the Senate had approved.

The legislation, estimated to cost $7.2 billion, revives a program that expired Dec. 28. Officials have said the quick action should allow benefits to continue uninterrupted because the checks lag the filing periods.

The federal benefits pay the same as the state program, a maximum of $424 a week in Ohio.

Eligibility for state and federal benefits is the same, and anyone who received state benefits and did not find a job within 26 weeks can receive up to 13 weeks of federal benefits, said Jon Allen, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Lucas County had 903 people receiving federal benefits on Dec. 21, the last date for which statistics are available. That figure was more than 40 percent of the total for 18 area counties.

Allen County was the next highest in northwest Ohio with 190 recipients. In metro Toledo, Wood County had 178 recipients and Fulton County had 65. The lowest in the area was Henry County with 24 recipients.

The two counties with the highest numbers of recipients were Cuyahoga, which had 3,471, and Franklin, which had 2,215.

In late December, the 18 northwest Ohio counties had 15,700 people collecting state jobless compensation, including 5,300 in Lucas County, 1,100 in Wood County, and 600 in Fulton County.

The total for Ohio was 133,000.

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