Friday, December 17, 2010

Jobless Benefits Bill Helps Many but Certainly Not All

As president Obama is set to sign into law the extension of Jobless benefits it's important to remember that this doesn't cover all unemployed. The different states have much different coverage limits and this bill doesn't extend coverage beyond the limits the states already impose.

It simply raises the federal programs that extent the state’s coverage beyond the normal 26 weeks up to the federal's 99 weeks maximum. Many states only offer unemployment for a maximum of 60 weeks not the much longer 99 weeks or less and this bill doesn't change that limit in anyway.

So for those who've used up their unemployment benefits based on their states limits nothing changes. Nor does it change for those who have used up the 99 week federal limit that’s always been there. This means that the vast majority of those laid off at the height of the crises will still have their benefits end shortly if they haven't already even with this extension.

That means for those lucky enough to receive this extension its good news but for those not getting it they will continue to suffer in silence.

And when we see the age's and study the demographics of those losing their unemployment benefits we see and even more disturbing trend as it's heavily skewed toward the older worker. They (regardless of age discrimination laws) tended to be the first laid off or let go so they in much higher numbers are facing the prospect of surviving with no job and no jobless benefits.

Its unfortunate that while some gain others get nothing as this benefit should extend to all equally. It can’t be any easier to be without income no matter what state you live in and many in this country will continue to lose everything it’s taken a life time to acquire.

The government needs to do some kind of jobs bill along with this band aid extension bill that puts people back to work. Its jobs we need more than the extension of unemployment benefits.

Amplify’d from

Tax bill won't help those who used up jobless aid

WASHINGTON - The tax-cut bill President Barack Obama is expected to sign Friday renews benefits for millions of unemployed people. But it does nothing for hundreds of thousands who have been out of work so long they've used up all benefits available to them.

In the 25 states with unemployment of at least 8.5 percent, people can receive up to 99 weeks in aid. In other states, the unemployed get less than 99 weeks - in some cases just 60 weeks, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

The bill keeps 99 weeks as the maximum anyone can receive. It doesn't provide any more weeks of benefits to people who have reached the limit in their state. Those who have exhausted all benefits are sometimes known as "99ers," even though the duration of their benefits varies by state.

The legislation renews federal programs that extend benefits beyond the 26 weeks states always provide. Those federal programs expired Nov. 30.

The Labor Department says it doesn't know how many Americans have used up all their unemployment benefits. But the number reaches well into the hundreds of thousands.

New York's 99ers tend to be older than those still receiving unemployment: Thirty percent percent of the state's 99ers are 55 or older, compared with less than 22 percent of those still receiving benefits. And more than 48 percent of New York 99ers are women. That compares with 43 percent of those receiving unemployment aid.

In Florida, 105,011 people have run out of benefits; in Nevada, 27,325. In New York, 125,284 out-of-work people have stopped receiving unemployment checks because they've exhausted their 99 weeks of aid.

In California, 5,000 unemployed people use up their extended benefits each week. And 274,185 Californians will have exhausted 99 weeks of benefits by year's end.

Many more people could be joining the 99ers. Job losses peaked in January 2009. Those who lost jobs then, at the depths of the recession, will soon lose their benefits if they haven't found work or run out of aid already. The number of people who applied for benefits for the first time peaked at 651,000 in the week that ended March 28, 2009 - 94 weeks ago.


No comments: