The National Employment Law Project (NELP) reports that two million of America's unemployed workers will lose federal unemployment benefits unless Congress enacts legislation that would provide an extension of the federal extended unemployment benefits which expired November 30.
The NELP update on employment notes that the following groups of workers currently collecting unemployment will lose benefits if an extension is not passed:
- Those who are currently collecting state unemployment benefits but will not be able to move into the federal emergency program once they have exhausted their state benefits.
- Those who are already collecting one of four "tiers" of benefits (ranging from 34 to 53 weeks) under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) but who will not be able to move onto a subsequent tier to collect their maximum weeks of benefits.
- Workers who are already receiving benefits under the federal/state permanent Extended Benefits (EB) program, which is currently 100% federally-funded. The EB program provides 13-20 weeks of benefits to workers living in high unemployment states, typically after workers collect their EUC. Unlike workers in the "tiered" EUC program who will continue to receive benefits until they reach the limit of their current tier, workers in the EB program in a number of states will suffer an immediate hard cut-off of benefits when the temporary federal funding ends.
UnemployedWorkers.org is urging Congress to take action to renew and extend these unemployment benefit programs through 2011. These extended benefits have helped keep nearly 8 million jobless workers and their families going while they look for work in a tough economy. Here's how to sign the Petition to Congress to extend unemployment benefits.
Check with your State Unemployment Office web site for details on your benefits. Most states have detailed information on eligibility for extended unemployment benefits and will have updates as legislation is considered in Congress.
In addition, if you have run out of unemployment or are about to lose your unemployment benefits, here's what to do when unemployment runs out.
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