Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Report: 1.2 million could lose unemployment benefits next month

By Michael A. Fletcher

More than 1.2 million people would have their federal unemployment payments curtailed next month if Congress fails to renew jobless benefits when it returns to work following the midterm elections, according to a report released Friday.

The report by the National Employment Law Project, a workers' advocacy group, said that suspension of benefits would financially cripple people, many of whom are barely subsisting on unemployment payments that average $290 a week.

"Over one million workers will be cut off unemployment insurance in just one month, starting November, unless Congress continues the federal emergency extensions for jobless Americans," said Christine Owens, executive director of the NELP. "These are people who have been laid off through no fault of their own and are desperately looking for jobs, but would be snapped from the lifeline of jobless benefits just as holiday season kicks into high gear."

Nearly 42 percent of the nation's 14.8 million unemployed people have been out of work for more than six months. States offer unemployment insurance for 26 weeks, but the nation's extended spell of high unemployment has prompted Congress to extend benefits to as long as 99 weeks in the hardest hit states.

The extensions, however, have become increasingly controversial, as members of Congress have focused more squarely on the cost of federal aid programs and their impact on the deficit. That view has become more pronounced as a number of outside analysts have argued that extended benefits have become a disincentive for many jobless people to seek work.

This summer disagreement, in Congress caused federal jobless benefits to be suspended for nearly two months.

Congress has only a tight window to enact an extension, or risk having people thrown of the benefit program. After the upcoming midterm elections, lawmakers are slated to reconvene on Nov. 15. But they are scheduled to be in town for only a handful of voting days before leaving for the Thanksgiving recess.

"The nation simply cannot afford another round of prolonged and destructive congressional gridlock," Owens said.

By Michael A. Fletcher  | October 22, 2010; 1:12 PM ET
Categories:  Unemployment  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: What 'Inside Job' does (and doesn't) get right about the financial crisis
Next: Fed boss: Regulators looking into foreclosure mess


When people do not have a job, do not have a home, do not know where they might get something to eat ........... then we will have real change in this country. Then we will stop listening to these "elected representatives," from both political parties that make all these promises and then take care of their special interests.

Currently it seems special interests control both parties and it will take action and unfortunately possibly violent action for real change. IT SEEMS THEY, the politicians, STILL ARE NOT LISTENING........

We do have an armed citizenry..................

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
~~ Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: Anonymous | October 22, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

How long are were going to keep extending unemployment benefits? Even during good times, there will always be some number of people unemployed. Are we to allow these people to keep getting benefits even when times are good.

If they are going to extend the benefits, there needs to be checks in place to make sure people are not earning unreported income and making sure that these people are looking for a job and are not content to just sit and let the government send them money for doing nothing.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 22, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous...What a foolish rant. Taking up arms against the US Government is treason and brands you as a terrorist. This was tried before,remember? We aren't flying the Confederate flag except in a few States that still don't have a grip on reality. And the "armed citizenry" as you put it, frankly pale against the US Military. Foolish Tea Bagger rubbish.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 22, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

The states don't even take care of the men and women of the Military. The US government is a joke. America was built for the free and asked for the tired and poor. I am a US citizen but why do we have so meney programs for people that don't belong and so few for the hard working people who are citizens

Posted by: Anonymous | October 22, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

The United states of America has failed to uphold rights for years. The unemployed are being kicked to the side. Some had the 9-5 job and some have served this it's black, white or yellow something has to change. My idea, stop spending money on 3rd world countries that don't want us there. Let's focus on the people, the US citizens. We need new people in office that are real working Americans. People that understand the day to day struggles of the common man or woman. The guys up stairs don't give to cents about what happens to us as long as there making money on it. Most of them should be imprisoned for not up holding the swears they take going in to office. We need people to stand up and fix this unemployment rate be it through jobs or extensions.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 22, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

well ive been unemployed since january, and have submitted over 400 resumes and applications for work. out of that ive had maybe 12 interviews and every single one of them went with someone else i look for work daily... life is depressing for me

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

"This summer disagreement, in Congress caused federal jobless benefits to be suspended for
nearly two months."

...should have been written as:

"This summer, disagreement in Congress caused
federal jobless benefits to be suspended for
nearly two months."

[First comma was not correctly inserted; sentence
is not grammatically correct]

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2010 6:26 AM | Report abuse

The benefits must be continued due to the fact that employers are not hiring at a fast enough pase. Once hiring speeds up then they can stop the extentions. I cannot even get an interview. How is that lazy? Lazy on the employers part or greed.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

We never had over 15 million people out of work. They don't count people once the benefits run out. So if they stop benefits on December 1 will the January unemployment report be a steep drop and Obama will cheer? This is hurting even the working. Schools are losing funding because we are not working and paying taxes like it use to be.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"How long are were going to keep extending unemployment benefits? Even during good times, there will always be some number of people unemployed. Are we to allow these people to keep getting benefits even when times are good."

Unlike other recessions, this one has put our country in uncharted territory. When times are actually "good" as this poster put it, more people are working, and contributing to their communities. But over the past 2-3 years, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out this country is in deep trouble. 15 million people out of work. One morning they are productive workers, by the afternoon they are taking their pink slip and going home for no reason whatsoever. Unless you have been in this position during the last couple of years, you shouldn't judge others who are unemployed or stare down at them like they are poor. Anybody can easily be in this position, and staring down no job, no help, and a life on the streets.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Another issue that is tied in closely to unemployment is home ownership and the potential for foreclosure. If you feel that you might be facing a situation where you might be susceptible to foreclosure it is important that you start looking at possible solutions early to come up with a strategy:

If you are lucky enough to live in California, the state has come up with temporary assistance under the Keep Your Home program for those unemployed:

Posted by: webadmin | October 24, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

This situation is not a joke. People are not eating or living according to their usual lifestyle. Some Unemployed Americans are not only DESPERATELY looking for work but are also going hungry, because they are trying to keep the utilities on and pay the minimum amount to keep a roof over there heads.

What will happen to the one million people when the small weekly checks stop? They lose the roof over there head, the lights go off, and they go hungry....and the phone that should be ringing with an employer calling offering a job will not ring, because its no longer possible to keep it on... Wake up America!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Most people don't care about government assistance when they can take care of themselves.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, it is easy for someone that doesn't need assistance to open their mouth and chime in with their own rationalization. However, unemployment are for those who onced worked, like me, and no fault of their own lost their job. Let's not get this confused with welfare. Maybe you do not have a spouse, that lost his/her job as you did, or have children/dependants that count on you. Well, there are such unfortunates. So, until you meet a family in desperate need of help, which may impact the way you project your opinion, I suggest you focus on the other sensless spending in America. God Bless.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I appreciate the profound comments here. It's a very refreshing change from the usual "Let them eat cake" backstabs that you see on most blogs.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company