In early June millions of people who were without a job ran out of jobless benefits as congress failed to push back the deadline for people to apply for unemployment. It is estimated that over 2 million people have had their benefits lapse.
Unemployment Benefits Law Passed
Today President Obama signed an extension of the unemployment package meaning many people will once again be eligible for benefits.
From CNN Money:
Millions of jobless Americans are getting their unemployment benefits back.
Hours after the House voted Thursday to push back the deadline to file for extended unemployment benefits until the end of November, President Obama signed the measure into law.
The approval came a day after the Senate voted 59 to 39 to restore the payments, ending a seven-week stalemate.
Benefits will now be available again for up to 99 weeks for some unemployed persons:
Federal unemployment payments, which last up to 73 weeks, kick in after the state-funded 26 weeks of coverage expire. These federal benefits are divided into tiers, and the jobless must apply each time they move into a new tier.
The payments will be retroactive to the previous deadline of June 2. But it could take up to a month for states to start sending the checks again, experts said.
Benefits May Be Delayed
Even though the benefits have now been extended, many people may not receive their extended unemployment checks for weeks to come.
even if a final bill is approved soon, it could take weeks for workers to collect benefits that they have missed since the extensions started phasing out, said Judy Conti, federal advocacy coordinator with the National Employment Law Project, a New York-based advocate for workers’ rights.
“Even the best states will probably have a week or so of lag time, and it wouldn’t surprise me if in some states the lag time were a month,” Conti said.
Conti said she expects workers to receive backed-up benefits in lump-sum distributions, rather than in dribs and drabs.
Personally I don’t mind that people collect unemployment benefits, after all we all may end up losing a job one day and need some help. But now that we have unemployment benefits for almost 2 years, I think it’s a bit much. If you can’t find a job in 2 years, you’re either not trying hard enough, or turning down jobs that aren’t “up to your standards”. Time for some new job search strategies!
What do you think? Should the benefits have been extended? Are the benefits becoming too much, and continuing for too long? Tell us your thoughts.