Unemployment Benefits May Be Extended

More than one million people could receive an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits under a bill the House is looking at today.

From CNNMoney:

The bill would extend benefits for those living in states with jobless rates higher than 8.5%. Some 27 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, fall into this category. The national unemployment rate hit 9.7% in August, the highest in 26 years.

The extended benefits would apply to an estimated 314,000 people set to exhaust their benefits by month’s end and to more than a million who will stop getting checks by the end of the year, according to the House Ways and Means Committee. Workers in other states could qualify if their state is expected to hit an 8.5% unemployment rate soon or meets other criteria.

“Decent, hard-working Americans from North Carolina to California have been calling my office to tell me they still cannot find work after a year or more after becoming unemployed and they need some additional help to keep their heads above water,” said Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., when he introduced the legislation earlier this month.

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