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Unemployment Extension Bill is Now Law, But the Fight for the Unemployed is Far From Over

July 22, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

As you all probably know by now, President Obama has officially signed the unemployment extension bill into law, sending it the state unemployment offices for them to begin implementing. The bill extends unemployment insurance benefits for people who have been jobless for more than 6 months until November 30th. It will also pay benefits back retroactively for the more than 2.5 million people who have had their payments cut off since Congress let extended unemployment benefits expire on June 2nd.

To track the bill as it moves to the individual states, visit the OpenCongress Benefits Wiki, where you can find state-specific information on how it’s being implemented. Since it’s a wiki, it only works if everyone adds what intel they have on what’s happening with the bill in their state. So, please, if you’ve seen any local reports or received any information from your state labor agency on when to expect checks, add it to the wiki so that other folks who may be searching for the information can benefit from it.

We’ll be continuing to cover the unemployment insurance issue as it goes forward, but, for now, as this current wave of congressional action winds down, I want to urge all of you who have been following the unemployment extension bill to continue paying attention to what’s happening in Congress. As Annie Lowrey at the Washington Independent reported recently, the unemployment insurance extension bill that was signed into law today is most likely going to be the last one. That means that, come December, we are going to be right back in this same situation, with hundreds of thousands of unemployed people per week losing their unemployment insurance payments without any real chances for finding jobs.

As the chart at right shows (click it for a larger version), the median duration of unemployment today is more than twice as high as it has been since at least 1965. Long-term joblessness is just an incredibly huge problem in the U.S. right now, and when Congress cuts off extended unemployment benefits for good in December, we’re going to be facing a 9%+ unemployment rate and no support for the unemployed beyond 26 weeks.

That’s going to propel a giant shift in the political landscape. We’ve seen recently that when unemployment benefits expire, a huge amount of political interest and energy is generated. For example, over the past 30 days, unemployment insurance legislation garnered more than 10 times as many page views on OpenCongress than the major Dodd-Frank financial reform bill (H.R.4173) that was moving through Congress at the same time. So, the energy will be there. But the challenge is going to be finding the right place to focus it.

The point I want to stress here is that even though this unemployment insurance bill has now been signed into law, the fight for the people who have lost their jobs during this recession is really just getting started. If you check out of the discussion on jobs and unemployment now, you’ll be in a worse situation for re-engaging and making a difference come November or December. The earlier you’re involved in the issues and organized around solutions, the more success you’ll have in the legislative battles when they occur. I’ll be covering the jobs and stimulus situation on OpenCongress over the next few months. I hope you’ll keep following along, either here (RSS) or on the OpenCongress Facebook page.

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Displaying 1-30 of 215 total comments.

Sannybeth 07/25/2010 10:31am

When all of you unemployed receive your back pay, buy what you can from others in the same boat. I plan on trying to the best of my ability to not let my money go back into the pockets of the already rich and greedy.

ExGOP 07/24/2010 5:18am
in reply to trynghard63 Jul 24, 2010 3:55am

26 weeks – Regular UI
20 weeks – EUC Tier 1
13 weeks – EUC Tier 2
01 week – EUC Tier 3
13 weeks – EUC Tier 4
06 weeks – EUC Tier 4 (States with high unemployment rates)
13 weeks – EB (States with unemployment rates at or above 6.5%)
07 weeks – EB (States with unemployment rates at or above 8.0%)

EUC = emergency unemployment compensation
EB = extended benefits

You should be eligible for EUC and EB until Nov. 30th or until you’ve collected 99 weeks, which ever comes first.

buffalou 07/22/2010 11:23pm

99ers are Americans who have exhausted all unemployment insurance and are now without any source of income. By the end of November, all of the unemployed people in this country will be 99ers. Now THAT’s when it’s going to get ugly.

dlharris1189 07/23/2010 3:06am

To be honest guys, the Federal Reserve had all of this planned and they keep making future plans to boost our economy and then to drop it and make us go though a recession….its all apart of their big plan of world domination in the “NEW WORLD ORDER”…they dont plan on doing anything for the unemployment extension because they have us right where they want us!!! they want to use us as slaves while the world powers come together and make one world goverment! WE HAVE TO TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK AND GET THE FEDERAL RESERVE INC out of our government!!!!

ExGOP 07/25/2010 8:06pm
in reply to NoBodyFaultButMine Jul 25, 2010 6:57pm

So you admit using different aliases. Not too bright, are you?

We’re not stupid, STUPID. Your desperate attempts to inflict your own Republican views will not change the minds of the unemployed. We will remember November.

P.S. Get a life pervert, and get off on a different blog.

P.S.S. If you really want to be a Republican you should learn how to write, and not be so obvious with your cons. You’re not sly enough for the GOP, but I’m sure the Tea Party will take you in.

ExGOP 07/23/2010 6:18am

You’re absolutely right Mr. Shaw! I will continue to pay attention to the actions and inactions of Congress.

Other than signing petitions, what else can we do?

butterflyangel 07/23/2010 9:48pm

does anyone have any information on when Missouri is going to start sending out payments. Ive been checking the states website and it says anywhere from 1 to 5 weeks but im curious been without income for almost 7 weeks now and the bills are really starting to get behind.

artledoux 07/23/2010 2:29pm
in reply to gerryd Jul 23, 2010 11:21am

Does this have anything to do with how he voted for UE extension? I guess if
you can save money for your self you don’t, but for what reason?
There are a number of Congressman who get small farm subsidy payments each
year, I hear for some of them it comes out to over $700,000! I’ll dig up
those names if you want.
Art LeDoux

ExGOP 07/24/2010 6:42am
in reply to NoBodyFaultButMine Jul 24, 2010 5:37am

I read that the Whitehouse has signaled that they will extend EUC if the nations unemployment rate is still painfully high in November.

Keep voting for those repubs.

GodisGreat44 07/23/2010 6:40am

why would this be the last extension they are going to do? the economy is NOT getting any better at this point and i bet that by the time november comes, there will be even MORE people without jobs and unable to feed their families than there is now. i listened to one of the female republicans talk yesterday about hurricane katrina and saying that they didn’t use any of this money (that is COLLECTING interest) for that and it shouldn’t be used to help now. if you haven’t noticed yet i would call this time period the SECOND Great Depression. they need to stand up and do something about it. if you don’t want to use that money to help us get on our feet then DO SOMETHING with it. start using it to try and help our economy or create new jobs for us. do something! don’t just sit up there in your big chairs, driving your nice cars, and living in your awesome homes and just complain about us. help your fellow Americans. because come November, we will remember!

ExGOP 07/23/2010 12:46pm





buddyg1 07/23/2010 1:25pm
in reply to buddyg1 Jul 23, 2010 1:19pm

According to the latest release, California EDD is working through the weekend to prepare mailings to beneficiaries in order to begin sending them out next week to catch people up on their payments.

skrapper 07/23/2010 5:13pm

I’m really glad that allot of you will get you unemployment until November. At least it’s something. Then soon you will become 99ers to. That sucks!
Please Pick up your phones and dial 211. That’s The United Way for all of us that are now the NEW POOR! They no what shape were in. They can help you possibly with you Mortgage even, so you don’t loose your house like we did.
The St. Vincent De Paul in your area can help with your shut off notices for up to 1 year. On the Internet The Angel Food Ministries are available to everyone.
You pay $30.00 for food, and get $60.00 worth of food. You can look at them on line and see their menu every month. If you have info to share to help each other please do, the politicians won’t help. Remember this when you vote.

ExGOP 07/24/2010 6:29am
in reply to mom2304 Jul 24, 2010 5:43am

My bad.

I got the breakdown (in my previous reply) from the CA EDD website, but instead of calling the extensions Tiers, they called it 26-UI, 20-EUC, 13-EUX, 1-EUY, 13-EUW, 6-EUZ, 13 & 7 FEDED, respectively. I added the Tiers to make it less confusing.

After checking my paperwork, I never received a Notice of a 3rd extension. They (CA EDD) sent me a notice for an “additional” 2nd extension for (1 week), then skipped to a 4th extension for 6 weeks. So it does appear that you are correct, and I was wrong. Here’s the revised Tier breakdown …

26 weeks – UI
20 weeks – EUC Tier 1
13 weeks – EUC Tier 2
01 weeks – EUC Tier 2
13 weeks – EUC Tier 3
06 weeks – EUC Tier 4 (States with high unemployment rates)
13 weeks – EB (States with unemployment rates at or above 6.5%)
07 weeks – EB (States with unemployment rates at or above 8.0%)

ohcraplookwhosincharge 07/23/2010 5:22am

Please let’s all just remember when November rolls around… vote these Republicans Out !!!! They have proven that they dispise all Americans and want to ruin the landscape of America for their financial gain….
1st needs to be Jeb Hensarling……He is the Biggest Snakeoil Salesman of them All !!!! I would trust a Gypsy Fortuneteller before I trusted him…..lowest of all weasels….
All Republicans really need to go though…….if you watch them at work, it is as if they actually would like to see someone starve in front of them…….they revel in it…..
This Country is making my Great Grandparents roll over in their graves……

wes00 07/22/2010 10:21pm

This article is very truth. Though I am very happy about the outcome of this situation, I know that there is still rough times ahead and though we may have won the battle..(for now anyway) there is still a war to be fought. For us that will resume collecting and for the 99ers.

ExGOP 07/23/2010 7:05am
in reply to txgalnokc Jul 23, 2010 6:49am

WOW! OK has its act together.

My State of CA EDD’s press release states this …

It also does not allow for the $25 federal stimulus payment added to each week of unemployment benefits for any new regular claim filed after May 23, 2010. For any existing claims already receiving the extra $25 payments, those payments can continue until the customer runs out of benefits or until the week-ending December 11, 2010, whichever comes first.

I hope the rest of us get the same result.

brokeflgirl333 07/23/2010 7:04am

Florida two hour special session that accomplished nothing, cost you the taxpayer an estimated 55-thousand dollars. That’s 16-thousand dollars more than the average Floridian makes in an entire year. lawmakers spent 55-thousand dollars, to gavel in, ignore the issue, and go home. Most lawmakers traveled all that distance and spent all that money and didn’t even speak on the floor… They just kept their seat warm and pushed a button.Not only did lawmakers not vote on a constitutional ban on offshore oil drilling, they also ignored two dozen other bills filed this week. One of those bills would allow unemployed workers who have exhausted their benefits claim more federal money while they’re looking for work. Soon those extended benefits will begin flowing to unemployed people in every state except Florida.

brokeflgirl333 07/23/2010 5:35am

Florida Seeking Ways To Handle Homelessness

J9007 07/23/2010 3:31am

Remember your representatives and senators that voted NO on extending unemployment benefits.

DeborahJBrown 07/23/2010 3:34am

NO EXTENDED BENEFITS FOR FLORIDA even though Florida has the 6th highest unemployment rate in the country according the the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. IN THE NEWS: Capitol News Service – Providing Coverage of Florida’s Capitol to State and National News Outlets. Speaker Tells Unemployed to Wait Until September – July 22nd, 2010 by Whitney Ray – Congress has extended unemployment benefits for more than two million jobseekers in 49 states, but not Florida. Read the whole article here: I wrote to several members of Florida’s Legislature prior to their recent special session asking them to make the date change and, while the Speaker is telling this reporter they may address it in September – all of my emails say they may address it “next year” when they meet March 2011. That is 10 months after the cut-off and 4 months after the expiration of the current extension. HELP US GET OUR BENEFITS IN FLORIDA – DON’T QUIT ON US!

understanding 07/23/2010 5:58am
in reply to understanding Jul 23, 2010 5:36am

As well as further extensions, there should be a Protection of Unemployed Peoples Act.

Prevents the defamation and discrimination of the unemployed

Expedites the payment of benefits when under emergency conditions of high unemployment to days not weeks

Information for Unemployment benefits should be timely and easily to understand

Just my thoughts.

MelinFlorida 07/23/2010 4:34am

it is not over for people in Florida we are all considered 99er even if we are84er. It makes me sick to see a balance on my account and know I am not getting it. I was a State Employee, with a Disabled husband and 2 girls, I have lost my car been evicted an because of some BS i am unable to get my EB. not right to get our hopes up and then smack us in the face…..

wes00 07/23/2010 12:17pm

Im a NEW YORKER and I must say that I really happy to see how fast our labor department is working. They have already released the lump sum for the back weeks owed to us at midnight this morning and it should be in our accounts early Monday morning. BUT I still read these stories and I am saddened by them..there is still so much more work to be done. Florida especially and the 99ers that have no extensions…and soon enough, me being at 82 weeks, will soon join them. but my prayers go out to you guys and like i said before the battle is not over just because we got this small win..there is a war to be fought and WON! GOD BLESS

iheartmy98markviii 07/23/2010 4:16am

Thank You Obama :)

buddyg1 07/23/2010 1:19pm
in reply to ExGOP Jul 23, 2010 6:54am

Yes, check the website for more accurate information in California. I know from experience that what is told over the phone is often not accurate. In the past I have been given vastly different information over the phone from one attendant to the next. Astoundingly, it’s as if they are as uninformed as the general public.

The updated website information has proven much more accurate.

taxthis 07/23/2010 7:32am
in reply to RyanRhino Jul 23, 2010 7:19am

To RyanRhino, Thank you for the information. I will read this. It is very difficult to obtain info now. I am personally very upset now and I do not think I am the only one. I and others that feel this way have to calm down before it destroys us…. Thank you Mr. Rhino……signed Robin Hood….catch my drift……58 year young U S Navy veteran

donnyshaw 07/23/2010 4:22pm
in reply to ExGOP Jul 23, 2010 6:18am

Well, decide on an agenda (stimulus, Tier V, jobs corps, etc.), pick a target (Dems, GOP, the financial industry, etc.) and then do as much as you can with what you have.

Obviously, the unemployed are lacking in resources and money, but it’s’ important to think about what you do have, and then do something with it. IMO, it’s going to take some serious off-line action to get policymakers to do something for the unemployed. You’re going to have to get creative and aggressive.

Chris51 07/23/2010 9:02am
in reply to dlharris1189 Jul 23, 2010 3:06am

The GOP, Repubs, FreedomWorks/TeaParty, and FederalReserve are only helping the 1% wealthy. You are right about the one world order thing. Many already know that Globalization is inevitable. Read Edge of the Apocalypse by Tim LaHaye. The Federal Reserve was created in 1923, and has been working towards its sole purpose of acquiring money and power.
+ You might want to read Mathew 24 and Revelations NKJV. Start with on the subject of getting right with God.

This article is right as for what is happens to millions of average Americans on a day-to-day basis, people need to stay up on the information on and for television The Ed Show on MSNBC seems to be the only one giving credible information and wanting to express the struggles of middle income and lower income family struggles.

taxthis 07/23/2010 11:05am

My county, Hernando, in Florida is 15% unemployed, yet Rep. Ginny Brown Waite house of representatives still voted no to extend benefits even though the senate aproved it with 60 votes. I pray to God that she loses this seat in november. There were many republicans in the house that voted yes after the bill left the senate. I just can not understand why any representative would vote no on this issue. This was not some special project issue. This was a human welfare issue in an unprecedented time in our nations financial downfall caused by greed, wealthy real estate investors and outright theft and corruption. Shame on her. It is people like her that leads me to the thought that we in Florida will have to wait quite a long time to receive any money from this emergency extension. Shame on her….

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