Half a Million Long-Term Unemployed Lose Benefits Earlier than Expected
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Congress giveth and Congress taketh away when it comes to extending unemployment benefits for those hit hardest by the Great Recession.
Lawmakers in February approved another extension for states’ unemployment programs drained by the long-term joblessness in many areas. But with the extension came certain conditions that have resulted in many states losing eligibility for additional federal funds.
It is estimated that half a million long-term unemployed have been cut off prematurely from their checks as a result of Congress’ terms.
Overall, more than five million people have been out of work for longer than six months. Workers over the age of 50 have had a particularly hard time finding work, causing many to dip into retirement savings earlier than expected and to claim Social Security retirement benefits before the payouts have fully matured.
Republicans have sought to end the extension of unemployment insurance, claiming the assistance encourages people to not try harder to find work. Democrats counter that the weak job market is to blame for so many people being out of work for so long, and that to terminate federal assistance runs the risk of reducing consumption and further weakening the fragile economy.
To Learn More:
U.S. Winds Down Longer Benefits for the Unemployed (by Shaila Dewan, New York Times)
Older Long-Term Unemployed Don’t Just Lose Income, but also Lifetime Benefits (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Most U.S. Jobless Don’t Receive Unemployment Benefits (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
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