November 6 Update: President Obama has signed the unemployment extension legislation. Unemployed workers should check with their state unemployment office for details on when payments will start being made. The extension provides for 14 weeks of extended benefit coverage for every state and an additional 6 weeks, for a total of 20 weeks, in high unemployment states where unemployment is over 8.5%.
November 5 Update: The House voted to approve the unemployment extension today. The next step is for the President to sign it. After that happens, check with your state unemployment office for details on when payments will start being made. UnemployedWorkers.org has checked with many state unemployment offices and reports that "The first payable week of benefits under the new extension is the week ending November 14, 2009. Benefits would not be legally payable until after that date. Most states have been able to make their first payments under new extension laws in the past within about 3 weeks of enactment, which would be around the first of December."
November 4 Update: The Senate has voted for an unemployment extension. The Senate voted 98 - 0 to extend jobless benefits by 14 weeks for every state and an additional 6 weeks, for a total of 20 weeks, in high unemployment states where unemployment is over 8.5%. The House needs to approve the extension, which then goes to the President to sign. Hopefully, that will happen this week.
November 2 Update: The Senate voted 85-2 Monday to limit debate and move ahead on an unemployment extension vote. A final vote is expected later this week. The Senate unemployment extension legislation would provide up to 14 additional weeks of unemployment insurance benefits to out-of-work people whose benefits are running out. Unemployed workers in the 27 states where the unemployment rate is at 8.5% or higher would receive and additional six weeks of benefits.
The Senate agreed on an 87-13 procedural vote Tuesday to bring unemployment extension legislation to a final vote, however, the legislation is still being negotiated in the Senate and may not be voted on until Monday. If it is approved, final passage would be on Tuesday, then the legislation would go back to the House to be reconciled with the legislation that has already been passed there. Once the legislation is approved by both the House and Senate, the next step is for the President to sign it. Then the states will start paying extended benefits to those who qualify. Once it's in effect, information will be available on state unemployment office web sites.
Senate Democrats have a counter showing how many Americans (156,387 and about 7,000 more each day) have run out of benefits and how long (21 days and counting) since the legislation has been delayed.
The National Employment Law Project has clarified who the extension will cover:
If you have exhausted your full range of federally funded benefits before the passage of this bill, you WILL be eligible for these additional weeks... However, in another important aspect, the bill is NOT retroactive. You will not receive a lump sum payment dating back to the time when you exhausted benefits. The benefits will only be paid going forward.
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