Study: Millions to Prematurely Lose Unemployment Benefits

By
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 at 6:00 am
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) (WDCpix)

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) (WDCpix)

For millions of unemployed workers, the recession is poised to go from bad to worse.

More than 3.2 million laid-off Americans will prematurely exhaust their unemployment insurance in the first quarter of next year unless Congress intervenes, an advocacy group warned Monday.

Although lawmakers last month pushed through a new extension of emergency jobless benefits, the underlying program authorizing those payments expires at the end of December. The deadline threatens to leave millions of families dangling without income, even in cases when they’re otherwise eligible to receive additional assistance.

[Congress1] The looming threat is prompting state labor officials to call on Congress to extend the jobless benefits program before lawmakers leave town for the year-end recess — a move Democratic leaders have been eyeing for weeks.

“If Congress does not recast this lifeline by renewing these provisions without delay, our most vulnerable citizens — already hardest hit by the recession — will be left with no ability to pay their bills, heat their homes and feed their families,” said Sandi Vito, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.

The push arrives just weeks after President Obama signed into law a bill extending jobless benefits for 14 weeks nationwide, with an additional six weeks going to residents in those states where unemployment rates top 8.5 percent. It marked just the latest in a series of benefit extensions dating back to the Bush administration. The underlying program was last authorized through Dec. 31 by the economic stimulus bill. Yet, because of the tiered nature of the various extensions — and because beneficiaries must exhaust one tier before applying for the next — the year-end deadline would prevent many eligible families from filing for the next level of benefits.

Hardest hit would be California, where the filing deadline threatens to drop nearly 589,000 beneficiaries in the first three months of next year, according to the analysis, conducted by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), an advocacy group. Other states in line to suffer the greatest drop-offs are Florida (314,000), New York (239,000), Texas (196,000), Illinois (193,000) and Michigan (183,000). Ten states are facing dropped enrollment topping 100,000 beneficiaries, NELP found.

The deadline threatens to shift much higher costs onto states, squeezing budgets at the same time that states are least able to shoulder the addition burden. The NELP analysis is designed to hike the pressure on Congress to offer additional federal help.

The Labor Department last week provided some reason to be hopeful, releasing figures indicating that employers shed just 11,000 jobs in November — down from an average of 135,000 each month in the previous quarter. Still, economists and federal officials have both warned that the figure, while an enormous improvement, is no indication that employers are readying a hiring spree. Chad Stone, chief economist at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, pointed out that long-term unemployment numbers continued to rise in November, though the jobless rate slightly fell.

“A labor market recovery that puts unemployed workers back to work requires faster growth and a much greater pace of new hires than is yet evident,” Stone said in a statement last week. “We estimate that without additional federal assistance, state actions to close their projected budget deficits could cost the economy 900,000 jobs next year.”

Democrats have the problem on their radar. Last month, the office of Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) acknowledged that Congress would have to tackle the deadline glitch before year’s end. More recently, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that extending unemployment benefits is “critically important to keeping Americans from falling right through the bottom of the barrel.”

“They are still hurting,” Hoyer told reporters last week, “but [the emergency help] was of great assistance to them. We need to revisit that, obviously, before the end of the year.”

In the House, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) has been the champion of extending the jobless benefits. In a recent letter to chamber colleagues, the Washington liberal pointed out that the jobless benefits not only provide a safety net, but also stimulate the economy. “Every dollar spent on unemployment benefits generates a $1.64 increase in economic activity,” McDermott wrote.

There is controversy, however, over how to pay the tab of a benefits extension, with conservatives already calling on the administration to tap unspent stimulus funds to cover the costs, which will be considerable. McDermott’s office has estimated that a one-year extension would cost roughly $80 billion.

Congress is also eyeing another stimulus bill, which would provide an obvious vehicle for the unemployment extension. But with the Senate likely to be bogged down with health care reform for much of the month, some Hill observers say it’s more likely that the unemployment extension would ride alongside a less contentious legislative vehicle.

It’s uncertain, McDermott’s office said Monday, whether a new jobs bill could pass before the end of the year.

Comments

44 Comments

scheng1
Comment posted December 8, 2009 @ 8:31 am

I wonder why they have to make it so difficult for the residents to get extended unemployment aids.


fly1
Comment posted December 8, 2009 @ 8:56 am

Senate messed with this Bill for 2 months while the GOP objected, stalled and undermined it's passage. These idiots passed a Bill, that basically expires on December 26, 2009. What is even more ridiculous is that they will address the EUC Law expiration and than boast they added UI benefits, when the reality is it was already a provision in HR3548. Stupid is as stupid does!


skippydog
Comment posted December 8, 2009 @ 9:22 am

My own unemployment saga is a good example of this “glitch” that Congress really should fix. I was collecting unemployment starting this summer, but got a temp job in August for about 3 months, so I was not drawing down my benefits during that time. The job ended around Thanksgiving and I have not been able to find more work so I went back to collecting unemployment. However since I had a break, I won't exhaust my original 26 weeks of benefits until January, which means I am currently not eligible for any of the extensions because they require that your original benefits be exhausted by Dec 31. If I had not gotten a job, I would have qualified for an extension. So basically I am being penalized for getting a job for a few months and now cannot get any of the extensions.


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sjob
Comment posted December 8, 2009 @ 9:52 am

Thank you for looking out for us, Representative McDermott. I am unemployed from Ohio. When my tier 2 benefits run out in March 2010, I face either homelessness or being employed. Since there are 6 people to everyone job, I don't feel very confident about my future. I think it may take 9 months to a year for serious hiring to happen. I do not want to be homeless.


fredgreen
Comment posted December 8, 2009 @ 11:58 am

If every dollar spent by the Government generated $1.64 of economic activity, America would be the world's richest nation,,,,,instead of being bankrupt and unable to sell our debt paper.

What nonsense.


imsanert
Comment posted December 8, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

Vote them out of office thats the fix to all of this.


divasheart
Comment posted December 8, 2009 @ 1:30 pm

I lost my job December of last year. I fall short of making the deadline for the next extension available to me by a few weeks. If we do not get this extension, I fear that my family and I will be homeless and lose everything. I have been diligent in searching for a job. The last thing I want is to stay on unemployment, but the economy gives me no choice. Please help us get this extension before you all leave for the christmas holiday. For people like me christmas will be sad and rough as it is this year. Last year I was at least hopeful, as the weeks pass I am beginning to lose hope. We already have no health insurance, we can barely pay the bills and put food on the table. Christmas gifts are out of the question this year. Without this extension, we will lose everything. Please help us.


trace1000
Comment posted December 9, 2009 @ 12:45 am

We can thank the GOP majority leaders for this. With trying to add other bills to HR3548 like homebuyers tax credits, I guess they figured they could resell our homes after we get foreclosed. My state has not even paid any benefits yet as they have to borrow the money from the Feds. They should have passed a bill that no lenders and landlords cannot foreclose or evict someone who is waiting for their benefits. I would rather work than collect UI. If you find any jobs be prepared to be humble to take less pay let alone be able to find a second job to make up for it. “Thank you Congress for putting us all out on the street”


QUEENY38
Comment posted December 11, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

MY HUSBAND IS ON ONE OF HIS UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENTIONS BUT IT WILL NOT EXHAUST BY DECEMBER OF THIS YEAR,DOES THAT MEAN HE IS DONE AND HE WILL RECEIVE NO MORE EXTENTIONS? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND ALL OF THIS.PLEASE SOMEONE LET ME KNOW,WE ARE FROM OHIO.


trace1000
Comment posted December 11, 2009 @ 6:08 pm

They are supposedly working on changing the expiration date that would expire week of 12/20/09 to 12/26/09 to a later date sometime next year, I cant see why they would put an expiration on it anyway hopefully they can do it before xmas break otherwise the extra 6 weeks for tier 4 was just a carrot bobbing in front of our eyes. Thank the GOP for all this crap


QUEENY38
Comment posted December 11, 2009 @ 9:57 pm

THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR FEEDBACK!!


patinflorida
Comment posted December 12, 2009 @ 11:28 am

I am in Florida and filed last week for Tier III. It said for me to begin claiming December 22nd. Since I have no clue how much I will receive and I haven't gotten the official letter yet, I called Florida's Unemployment line this morning and was advised I will get 10 weeks. Additionally, I will get retroactive payments from November 14th which are inclusive of this 10 weeks.
Ten weeks???? WTF? Why????
The new Bill states 14 weeks PLUS 6 more weeks as my state of Florida is one of the highest unemployed!
Every time I call the Unemployment line I usually get different information, so I called again this morning and yep, only 10 weeks for me…half of my normal amount.


trace1000
Comment posted December 12, 2009 @ 1:45 pm

Here in Ga we were to get 14 weeks for tier III and 6 for tier IV and we are told only 13 weeks….I dont Think the DOL's know what is going on, it has been a real big FIASCO. the delaying, then waiting for funds I havent recieved any funds yet in my Bank account but everyone else in Ga has, I just hope they fix it soon.


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Comment posted December 12, 2009 @ 10:16 pm

MY HUSBAND IS ON ONE OF HIS UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENTIONS BUT IT WILL NOT EXHAUST BY DECEMBER OF THIS YEAR,DOES THAT MEAN HE IS DONE AND HE WILL RECEIVE NO MORE EXTENTIONS? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND ALL OF THIS.PLEASE SOMEONE LET ME KNOW,WE ARE FROM OHIO.


internetto
Comment posted December 13, 2009 @ 5:51 am

Republicans have poopypants
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Republicans goosestep because they have poopypants.
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Never vote for a Republican.
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trace1000
Comment posted December 13, 2009 @ 6:11 am

They are supposedly working on changing the expiration date that would expire week of 12/20/09 to 12/26/09 to a later date sometime next year, I cant see why they would put an expiration on it anyway hopefully they can do it before xmas break otherwise the extra 6 weeks for tier 4 was just a carrot bobbing in front of our eyes. Thank the GOP for all this crap


angie555
Comment posted December 15, 2009 @ 7:43 am

TRACE I FOUND OUT TODAY THAT THE 1 WEEK OF THE 14 WEEKS IS ONLY I MEAN ONLY FOR THOSE WHO ARE STILL ON TIER TWO!!!!! THEY ADDED IT TO TIER 2 NOT THREE AND FOUR , SO TO WRAP THIS UP IF YOU ALREADY EXHAUSTED TIER TWO YOU WILL NOT GET THAT XTRA WEEK, YU WILL GET 13 WEEKS THEN IF THEY FIX THE DEADLINE THE XTRA 6 WEEKS , NOW TO THAT WOAMN FROM FLORIDA PATINFLORIDA WE ONLY GET TEN WEEKS HERE BECAUSE THE STATE OF FLORIDA TOOK THE OPTION TO ONLY GIVE 50 PERCENT OF YOUR ORIGINAL CLAIM WAS INSTEAD OF FULL 13 WEEKS WE CLAIM EVERY TWO WEEKS UNTIL OUR 50 PERCENT IS DONE OR EXHAUSTED AS THEY CALL IT I GOT SCREWED ALSO ,,, thank our wonderful GOP GOVERNOR CHARLIE CHRIST FOR THAT CRAP.


trace1000
Comment posted December 15, 2009 @ 7:47 am

Angie

Check your email


angie555
Comment posted December 15, 2009 @ 9:59 am

PATINFLORIDA: ME NAME IS ANGIE AND IVE BEEN FIGHT THE UI OFFICE FOR TWO MONTHS NOW, IVE GOTTEN NO LETTER EITHER HERE IN PORT ST LUCIE FLORIDA HAS ONE OF THE OLDEST UI SYSTEMS TO DATE IN THE COUNTRY SO IT TAKES ALOT OF WORK TO GET IT UPDATED, HERE IN FLORIDA WE DO NOT GET A FULL EXTENSION EVER!!! WE GET 50 PERCENT OF OUR ORIGINAL CLAIM FOR THE 13 WEEK EXTENSION, ONLY !! ITS LEGAL AND ITS UP TO EACH STATE TO MAKE THE DECISION WHETHER TO GIVE ALL THE WEEKS OR JUST 50 PERCENT FOR THE 13 WEEKS INSTEAD I HOPE THIS HELPS ANGIE


S Francis
Comment posted December 15, 2009 @ 3:21 pm

People out of work and creating jobs are more important than passing the healthcare bill at present. Some politicans are clueless to know what it is like to be working one day and then you become unemployed. All the funding that are going to both wars also killing off americans let the Afgans and Iraqs take care of their own problems and congress and the Senate take care of us back home. My first emergency will run out in mid-Jan what will happen to the thousands in the same shoes who will not qualify for the recently enacted unemployed extension of Nov. 09.


trace1000
Comment posted December 15, 2009 @ 4:31 pm

Republicans are doing all this crap to Pres. obama look bad


ANGIE555
Comment posted December 16, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

YOU ARE SO RIGHT HEALTH CARE IS OGING TO TAKE ALOT MORE TIME TO GET IT RIGHT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULDNT BE RUSHED OUR EXTENSION IS A NO BRAINER OR SO WE THOUGHT RIGHT ??WE WAITED ALMOST 6 WEEKS TO GET IT PASSED AND THOUGTH WE ALL HAD 20 WEEKS RIGHT THEN BOOM THEY FORGOT TO CHANGE THE DATE ON IT!!! WHATS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE PEOPLE?DID THE GOP PLAN THIS HAHA!!! HOW THE HELL CAN U FORGET IN A BILL OF CONGRESS TO FIX THE FREAKIN DATE?IF I TELL MY KIDS .THEY CANT EAT THE FOOD NORMALLY EAT AND EXPLAIN TO THEM WHY!! THEY COULD EVEN FIGURE OUT THAT THIS DOESNT MAKE SENSE, WEHN I EXPLAINED IT TO MY 12 YEAR OLD TWINS THEY SAID MOMMY DIDNT WE WATCH THE TV BACK IN NOV AND THE PRESIDENT SIGNED IT U WERE SO HAPPY !!!HOW COME U R NOT GETTING CHECKS? THEY COULD EVEN FIGURE OUT HOW STUPID THIS IS. THEY SAY MOMMY HOW FOES CONGRESS MAKE SUCH MISTAKES I DIDNT HAVE AN ANSWER DO ANY OF YOU, LET ME IN ON IT


ALLISON
Comment posted December 16, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

ANGIE U R SO RIGHT! THIS DOESNT MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL! I STILL AM REELING ABOUT THIS DEADLINE, AND HOW LONG WILL IT BE UNTIL ITS FIXED I LIVE IN FLORIDA ALSO AND READ YOUR BLOGS AND I AGREE WITH YOU MOST OF THE TIME I ALWAYS VOTES GOP, WELL NOT ANYMORE AFTER 28 YEARS I AM NOW A DEMOCRAT, BUSH SCREWED US SO BAD ALL HE DID WAS MAKE BILLIONS FOR HIS FAMILY . POOR OBAMA IS TRYING HIS BEST HE CAME FROM A POOR FAMILY AND SCRATCHED AND WORKED HIS WAY INTO COLLEGE HE DID NOT HAVE A RICH DADDY TO BUY HIS WAY IN AND HAVE A BILLION DOLLAR TRUST FUND LIKE THESE FAT CAT GOP STUFFED SUITS DOES ANY ONE NOTICE THEY ALL LOOK ALIKE THEY ALL HAVE THAT SAME CONSTIPATED LOOK, AND WE ALL KNOW NONE OF THEIR WIVES ARE GIVING IT THEM,AS LONG AS HTEY HAVE THEIR MILLION DOLLAR HOMES EXCELLANT GOVERMANENT RUN HEALTH CARE AND A GREAT SALARY WHY SHOULD THE GOP CARE ABOUT US, THE POOP MIDDLE CLASS AND FORGET THE UNEMPLOYED IM SICK OF IT, WELL IM SORRY I RAN ON BUT DAMN IM PISSED OFF WE JUST GOT THIS EXTENSION AND NEXT WEEK I RUN OUT HAPPY F*****IN NEW YEAR TO US ALL


ALLISON
Comment posted December 16, 2009 @ 4:03 pm

WHY BLAME THE GOP BABY VOTE THEM BASTARDS OUT OUT OUT!!


angie555
Comment posted December 22, 2009 @ 8:11 am

anyone hear about extension deadline moved as yet?i heard from a friend it was moved to february cant find it in the blogs


JohnTowns
Comment posted December 22, 2009 @ 11:29 am

He might have come from a “poor family” as you say (they weren't poor, btw)… but Obama hasn't ever been “poor” for decades. Never underestimate what living in power and privilege will do to one's memory – assuming hw was poor (he wasn't). Secondly he can't have been very poor because:
following high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles in 1979 to attend Occidental College.[did you know Occidental is private? Not to mention many film and entertainment stars as well as Jack Kemp senator attended Occidental] After two years he transferred in 1981 to Columbia University [private university and a member of the Ivy League] in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations and graduated with a B.A. in 1983.

BTW it's bad form to post on Internet forums with all caps. Makes you look like you just learned about Internet forums day before yesterday. Notice everyone else isn't typing in all caps? Ask yourself why.


angie555
Comment posted December 22, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

So sorry the poor girl wrote in caps, what is this english 101 what she wrote was almost 100% on the money, and i did some cheking he was no Kennedy…. did the girl really need you to knock her on her typing skills. im assuming you have excellant health care and are not bothered that we got an extension for 20 weeks and have a deadline of only 7 weeks. Kudos to you and 895…. MERRY CHRISTMASby the way


angie555
Comment posted December 22, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

To everyone who writes on this blog, i also write in caps once in a while it depends on how my kids leave the computer or how i feel if im pissed i write in caps, does it really matter we r all just sharing thoughts not running a english class. no one on hear needs any more stress so if u have nothing nice to say about someone else dont share, unless someone writes something mean first other wise we can all have an intelligent conversation with each other.MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL….LETS ALL LOOK FORWARD TO A BETTER YEAR…


angie555
Comment posted December 22, 2009 @ 6:33 pm

anyone hear o fnew deadline being signed yesterday? i heard it was signed but cant find it in any news!


angie555
Comment posted December 22, 2009 @ 7:39 pm

So sorry the poor girl wrote in caps, what is this english 101 what she wrote was almost 100% on the money, and i did some cheking he was no Kennedy…. did the girl really need you to knock her on her typing skills. im assuming you have excellant health care and are not bothered that we got an extension for 20 weeks and have a deadline of only 7 weeks. Kudos to you and 895…. MERRY CHRISTMASby the way


angie555
Comment posted December 22, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

To everyone who writes on this blog, i also write in caps once in a while it depends on how my kids leave the computer or how i feel if im pissed i write in caps, does it really matter we r all just sharing thoughts not running a english class. no one on hear needs any more stress so if u have nothing nice to say about someone else dont share, unless someone writes something mean first other wise we can all have an intelligent conversation with each other.MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL….LETS ALL LOOK FORWARD TO A BETTER YEAR…


angie555
Comment posted December 22, 2009 @ 11:33 pm

anyone hear o fnew deadline being signed yesterday? i heard it was signed but cant find it in any news!


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SmoothiesGood
Comment posted November 29, 2010 @ 8:23 pm

Sorry to say, but 2011 will be way worse as unemployment rises even more and millions face extended joblessness with no benefits. Of course I am talking about the Americans who want to work, not the politicians or Wall streeters who could give a rats arse about anybody else. Did you forget about the housing forclosure mess? It will rear it’s ugly head even worse.


SmoothiesGood
Comment posted November 29, 2010 @ 8:23 pm

Sorry to say, but 2011 will be way worse as unemployment rises even more and millions face extended joblessness with no benefits. Of course I am talking about the Americans who want to work, not the politicians or Wall streeters who could give a rats arse about anybody else. Did you forget about the housing forclosure mess? It will rear it’s ugly head even worse.


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