As of November 2015, unemployment extensions are no longer available, according to Alison Doyle for About.com. Since 2008, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program provided unemployment extensions, but the program came to an end in 2013. While the maximum amount of time a person can collect unemployment benefits varies from state to state, generally it is 26 weeks.
Due to the high unemployment rate, the government created Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which was a federal unemployment extension. After an individual exhausted his unemployment benefits on the state level, he became eligible for an extension through the federal program. There were four tiers of benefits with their own duration under the program. Some of those tiers were only available for those in states that met a minimum unemployment rate, explains Doyle. Throughout the program, durations and requirements changed, and an individual could receive up to 73 weeks of additional benefits during the lowest point of the economic downturn.
Extended benefits were another type of unemployment extension program, notes the U.S. Department of Labor. An unemployed person could use these benefits once he exhausted the unemployment benefits from his state, but the program was only available in states with a high unemployment rate. Thirteen additional weeks of unemployment benefits were part of this program, and some states provided another seven weeks.