Unemployment insurance is going to fall off a cliff at the end of December. In addition to the tax cuts which will expire, and the spending cuts that will impact government programs, federal extended unemployment benefits, which provide all long-term unemployment compensation, will expire on December 29, 2012.
In the past, when benefits were in danger of expiring, unemployment was gradually cut back and unemployed workers could continue to collect benefits until they ran out of the tier they were on. It's different this year. If Congress fails to reauthorize the federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation program (EUC), no federal extended unemployment benefits will be payable to any unemployed worker effective January 1, 2013.
If the extended benefits legislation is allowed to expire, laid-off workers will only be eligible for a maximum of 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits. Workers who are currently collecting extended unemployment benefits will stop receiving compensation effective the end of December 2012.
The National Unemployment Law Project (NELP) reports that three million unemployed workers will lose benefits in the early part of 2013. Overall, five million unemployed workers will be unable to collect federal unemployment insurance benefits next year.
NELP has started a campaign to Renew Unemployment Insurance for 2013 to save federal emergency compensation benefits. You can quickly and easily use the online form to ask members of Congress to renew benefits.