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Unemployment Insurance Cuts in the Latest Deal

February 15, 2012 - by Donny Shaw

It’s not official yet, but it appears that Democrats and Republicans in Congress are on the verge of striking a deal on extending the payroll tax holiday and unemployment insurance benefits. While the payroll tax holiday would be continued in its current form under the deal, the policies governing extended unemployment insurance for the would change significantly.

Under the deal, long-term unemployed workers in most states would see their maximum length of benefits restricted, and they may face new drug testing and job retraining requirements to continue receiving benefits. Here are the details of the the deal as it currently stands, according to an outline obtained by CNN:

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

  • Extends current levels and length of unemployment benefits through May. After that maximum lengths of benefits decrease in steps.
  • On Sept. 1, max. unemployment benefits would fall to 73 weeks in the highest unemployment states. (GOP source says that’s 9% unemployment or more.)
  • On Sept. 1, unemployment benefits would drop to 63 weeks in states with average unemployment.
  • Drug testing: Republicans say the deal would allow states to drug test unemployment beneficiaries if a) they are unemployed because of a failed or refused drug test or b) if they are applying for jobs that require drug testing.
  • Long-term unemployed: would have to go through a “reemployment assessment”, according to Republicans. This would assess what skills and services they need to be hired and require that they participate in recommended programs.
  • Job search requirements: Republicans say the deal would issue a first set of “national job search requirements” for those receiving unemployment benefits. We are waiting for details on what that means.

These cuts will likely start to take effect while the average duration of unemployment is still at a historically high level. The details are not yet final, but it looks like the maximum length of unemployment insurance benefits will be reduced by 36 weeks in the 33 states that have unemployment rates below mean average and by 26 weeks in the 12 states that have unemployment rates above 9 percent. While national unemployment has ticked down recently, the average duration of unemployment is still high, at 40.1 weeks. That’s two weeks longer than a year ago when the unemployment rate was nearly a full percentage point higher than it is today. Unless the duration of unemployment reverses trebnd and starts going down, more and more unemployed people will start losing their government support before they find a new job under this deal.

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Comments

Displaying 1-30 of 45 total comments.

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  • chrisktrue 02/16/2012 7:28am

    Lets see how it Unfolds.Lots of unemployed are anxiously waiting for the result.
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  • chrisktrue 02/16/2012 7:30am

    Lets see how it Unfolds.Lots of unemployed are anxiously waiting for the result.
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  • AshleyNoel 02/21/2012 10:39pm

    Wonderful article. Hope that rollers of the country will find this issue an alarming and not beneficial to many people, and wish for better results. Tampa DUI Lawyers

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  • Comm_reply
    movingtocanada 04/04/2012 12:24am

    Number one problem it’s almost impossible to take you seriously when you say worstest. Second my father has a degree, i don’t know specifics but he can operate and maintain bio-medical systems. Hes been to 9 separate hospitals in 5 months looking for work and not even been given consideration for a position, in which he would excel. But he currently works at a factory just trying to stay afloat. So tell me this if working all the time isn’t enough then why would it be a good idea to forcibly decrease the amount of money (which you earned and the government took)that you can have back. My prediction is that this bill will cause an increase in both the crime rate and the amount of homeless. I know you inconsiderate ones don’t care you’d sell your child for a dollar right. The Government is trying to hurt us plain and simple.

  • JourneyFrank 02/25/2012 6:51am

    This is not surprising to hear because every countries has this problem. Government should give response in this kind of problem. Florida Habitual Traffic Offender

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  • samuelfox 02/28/2012 1:16am

    This is really surprising and the government should open their eyes about this issue. Actually every government in all countries are facing this kind of problem. I hope everything will be settle and everything will turn ok.

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  • swinka 02/29/2012 12:16pm

    Unemployment is affecting every country at present and it is up to the goverments to put reforms in place. seo company

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