H.R.598 - American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009

To provide for a portion of the economic recovery package relating to revenue measures, unemployment, and health. view all titles (12)

All Bill Titles

  • Short: Health Insurance Assistance for the Unemployed Act of 2009 as reported to house.
  • Short: HITECH Act as reported to house.
  • Official: To provide for a portion of the economic recovery package relating to revenue measures, unemployment, and health. as introduced.
  • Short: Assistance for Unemployed Workers and Struggling Families Act as introduced.
  • Short: Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act as introduced.
  • Short: Health Insurance Assistance for the Unemployed Act of 2009 as introduced.
  • Short: HITECH Act as introduced.
  • Short: Assistance for Unemployed Workers and Struggling Families Act as reported to house.
  • Short: Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act as reported to house.
  • Popular: American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 as introduced.
  • Short: American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 as introduced.
  • Short: American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 as reported to house.

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Displaying 1-30 of 189 total comments.

  • Anonymous 01/17/2009 5:19pm

    I hope there is a 3rd tier on the unemployment. Millions of people will have exhausted all their benefits by April with no jobs training or jobs in site.

  • Anonymous 01/20/2009 6:19pm

    true enough my last check came today

  • Anonymous 01/20/2009 8:14pm

    Amen to that! I am praying for a 3rd tier as well.

  • Anonymous 01/21/2009 5:07am

    I just got off the phone with my local Congressman’s office (he’s on the Ways and Means committee) to voice my complaint about this proposed legislation. While I’m as concerned as anyone about extending current extended benefits to those of us long-term unemployed, I’m equally upset that there seems to be no help in the proposed emergency healthcare benefits either! All of the proposals in the .pdf details of this legislation apply to only those newly unemployed after September of 2008! Those of us who have been unemployed before that, especially older workers like myself who also have health concerns, seem to be left out in the cold. And we’re, in many cases, the very folks who have long since exhausted the resources they had when they first became unemployed, so are generally more desperate for help. Help for this group would provide more immediate stimulus, in fact, than that given to the newly unemployed, who in some cases might still have some savings.

    Read the .pdf for details on this legislation proposal, and if you agree, please call your congressman to express your concerns, especially if your particular rep is on the Ways and Means committee.

  • Comm_reply
    nancym 01/31/2009 4:54am

    This is an update on my own anonymous post about no provision for emergency health care for the unemployed. Recently I went back to the bill and it seems that it was revised in the version passed by the House to include a different date for eligibility for Medicaid for all on unemployment benefits or those who have exhausted benefits by July of 2008. That can be a lot of help to many people. And for those who are still unemployed but didn’t get unemployment benefits, they can still be eligible, but with restrictions on verifiable income.

    Of course, this may change in the final compromise with the Senate bill, but I haven’t seen changes about this yet in the Senate info online.

  • Moderated Comment

  • Anonymous 01/21/2009 8:56am

    It says to extend the program ..not weeks ..

    2. Continue the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program
    The current federally-funded extended unemployment benefits program (which provides up to 33 weeks
    of extended benefits) is scheduled to begin to phase out at the end of March 2009. The proposal would use
    general revenues to extend the program through December 31, 2009.

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 01/21/2009 1:03pm

    Tell your reps what it needs to say so they can ammend this bill!

  • Anonymous 01/21/2009 9:26am

    I’ll contact my reps today!

  • Anonymous 01/21/2009 9:52am

    Hello Fellow Unemployed people,

    You can go to WWW.Unemployedworkers.org and click on the link dated Jan.15,09 Action Alert, type in your zip code and it will give you your congress people and a letter you can send them,

    VERY EASY way to get this bill going…………..
  • Anonymous 01/21/2009 8:37pm

    So if we have exhausted the 7 weeks on the last extension, is this bill possible to extend it again? I still am unemployed =(

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 01/22/2009 11:24am

    no, this bill just extends the deadline which someone can apply for the last extension.

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 01/27/2009 3:34pm

    I spoke to someone from NELP today. She told me after you collect the first 7 weeks you can start claiming for the other 6 starting Feb 22nd. But you dont get paid for the weeks from the time your 7 weeks are done and the other 6 start.

  • Anonymous 01/23/2009 12:13pm

    I still am unemployed
    Looks like when Tier 2 runs out..People will be homeless..unless you can find a job with “The Nation being at 7.4 UI Rate”
    Good Luck
    Change We Can Belive In..BS
    The ones who was laid-off when the recession begun ..will be homeless first..
    At least Bush didn’t let us go homeless.. by passing a Extension on EUI

  • Anonymous 01/24/2009 8:17am

    So is there a bill right now to have 3 rd extension?

  • Anonymous 01/27/2009 4:00am

    NEW YORK UNEMPLOYMENT JUST HIT THE OVER 6 PERCENT RATE…NY WAS ONLY ELIGIBLE FOR THE 7 OF THE 13 WEEKS. NOW WE ARE ELIGIBLE FOR 33 WEEKS BUT IF WE ONLY COLLECT THE 7 WEEKS WE STILL HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE NEW LEGISLATION PASSED TO GET THE OTHER 6 WEEKS. I CALLED UNEMPLOYMENT AND THE IDIOT TOLD ME TO GET A JOB…I TOLD HER ITS NOT EASY TO FIND MY KIND OF WORK NONE AVAILABLE. SHE SAID AFTER NY NEXT 2 CHECKS FROM THE 7 WEEK EXTENSION THATS IT UNLESS LEGISLATION IS INACTED. THAT PERSON WASNT VERY INFORMITIVE BECAUSE NELP SAYS NY IS ENTITLED TO THE 13 WEEKS, IT SHOULD JUST ROLL OVER. MY YEAR ENDING DATE IS MARCH 15TH. THE LADY AT UNEMPLOYMENT DIDNT TELL ME IF I HAD TO START A NEW CLAIM OR ANYTHING. SHE JUST TOLD ME TO STOP CLAIMING AFTER MY LAST WEEK WHICH IS FEB 4TH. WHY CANT PEOPLE GIVE AN ANSWER? DOES ANYONE KNOW?

  • Comm_reply
    nancym 01/28/2009 2:46am

    More information on the current program has been posted for weeks over on the forum for HR 6867. This forum for 598 is for proposed legislation, which has little to do with current programs.

    You wouldn’t have to wait for anything new to pass if you are currently on Tier 1 extended benefits and your state is over 6.0 average. (However, NY is not currently eligible—see below.) Tier 2 would go through automatically if you were in an eligible state, but there have been lots of administrative delays in several states, and delays for states that just recently slipped into the over 6.0 unemployment rate that is required to have Tier 2.

    For any confusion about Tier 1 and Tier 2 for the current program, go here:
    http://www.unemployedworkers.org/extend_jobless_benefits/federal_jobless_benefits/twotiers.cfm

    For tracking whether your state is triggered “on” for Tier 2, go here and click on Emergency Unemployment Compensation Trigger Notice:
    http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/claims_arch.asp

    As of 1-15-09 New York is NOT eligible for Tier 2, since the 6.0 rate is calculated on an AVERAGE of the last three months. If in the Feb notice your state average comes up to 6.0, you should be eligible to get Tier 2, but state procedures may vary as to exactly how that is handled when there is a slight break in your benefits.

    As for changes in the law, I’ve been researching this, and currently there are NO new proposals for more extensions for any of us who will be soon exhausting our extended benefits. The proposals, like in HR 598, are only for extending the deadline for newly unemployed applying for the current extended program. Call your Congressmen!

  • Comm_reply
    nancym 01/28/2009 2:59am

    Wow, SORRY—responding to my own post here—I just read the lengthy press release post below that tells how your rate jumped into 7.0 in December and apparently your state will become eligible, according to that, by Feb 22. Didn’t mean to be misleading in my post.

    Apparently you are going through what so many of us in other states went through, the administrative delays in getting this new info programmed into their computers and the call centers up to speed on what’s going on. If your state is as inefficient and overwhelmed as was Florida and Ohio, be prepared for huge frustrations, people who you talk to who don’t have a clue alternating with reps who really are trying to help but even they don’t have answers, and clogged phone lines and even site crashes. But by law, you WILL get your extension, it just might take a while, and you should get the money back to the date you left off (I think).

    I hope you have NONE of these problems and NY has learned from the other states, but don’t count on it. If I were you I’d check back to that site link for the Tier 2 triggers to update for NY in Feb, and keep track of when your online account balance changes online. But you won’t see it update for the new 13 weeks until you have completely exhausted the Tier 1 funds.

    Whew!

  • Anonymous 01/27/2009 4:06am

    For immediate release: January 22, 2009
    Contact: Tim Bradley, BerlinRosen Public Affairs, 646-452-5637 (office)
    Jo Brill , Fiscal Policy Institute, 914-671-9442 (mobile)
    Record Surge in NYS Unemployment in December
    Lagging Benefits Expose Holes in Safety Net for Jobless NYers
    New York, New York—Today, the New York State Department of Labor released new figures
    revealing that the state’s unemployment rate jumped to 7.0 percent in December, the highest figure
    recorded in the state since 1994. Over 671,000 New Yorkers were unemployed in December, an
    increase of 229,000 (52 percent) from December of 2007. The national recession began in
    December 2007.
    New York’s 7.0 percent unemployment rate last month was up from November’s revised level of
    6.0 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in December and 6.8 percent in
    November 2008. [All figures in the first two paragraphs are seasonally adjusted.]
    Both the one-month unemployment increase of 1.0 percent and the 229,000 12-month increase in
    the unemployed count are all-time highs in the 32-year official Labor Department series.
    “While New York State lagged the nation in entering the recession, we are catching up with a
    vengeance,” stated James Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist of the Fiscal Policy
    Institute. “New York City’s unemployment rate also surged in December to 7.4 percent from 6.3
    percent in November, putting the city’s rate higher than the national unemployment rate.”
    “With companies slicing payrolls, more New Yorkers are depending on an unemployment check to
    keep their family afloat and avoid poverty. Yet, the economic security provided by the benefit is
    lacking,” said Andrew Stettner, Deputy Director of the National Employment Law Project.
    The dismal jobs report puts a spotlight on the need for immediate improvements to New York’s
    jobless safety net:
    􀂃 The maximum weekly unemployment benefit is just $405 per week, and has been frozen at
    that level since 2000. Meanwhile, the average weekly wage has risen over 42 percent since
    1999, when the maximum unemployment benefit was set at one half of the average weekly
    wage. If the maximum benefit level had been adjusted annually to keep pace with changes in
    the average weekly wage as is done in 32 other states, it would now be $577.
    NELP
    National Employment Law Project
    NELP and FPI: State jobless numbers surge
    - 30 -
    2
    􀂃 New York fares very poorly compared to other states. New York’s unemployment benefit
    replaces just 26.6 percent of the average worker’s paycheck. That’s lower than every state
    except Alaska.
    􀂃 New York’s benefits are particularly paltry compared to other states impacted by the
    financial crisis and the recession. Jobless workers laid off in New Jersey can qualify for
    $560 per week, and in Connecticut, $519 per week. Other neighboring states like
    Pennsylvania ($560 per week) and Massachusetts ($628 per week) pay even more.
    Stettner urged state lawmakers to reform the program by passing two bills introduced in the state
    legislature last June (A.11637 and S.8718). “Fixing New York’s unemployment insurance program
    should be high on the agenda for reform in Albany as the legislative session begins next week.
    Albany can pick up on good work started at the end of last session that would have bolstered
    benefits and the trust fund’s solvency,” Stettner said.
    New York is poised to get federal help for the purpose of modernization under the terms of the
    stimulus plan proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives in concert with President Obama.
    Under the plan, New York would qualify for an immediate distribution of $403 million—the most
    of any state—giving New York additional resources to fix the state’s safety net.
    New York’s December unemployment surge means that the state will now qualify for an additional
    13-week extension in federally-funded unemployment benefits. This provision was included in
    federal legislation enacted last November. New York workers are now eligible for a total of 33
    weeks of extended benefits. Workers will be able to file for benefits starting February 22, 2009.
    In addition to being an important part of the safety net for workers losing their jobs, unemployment
    benefits pump spending power into local economies across the state. Thus, unemployment benefits
    provide an important boost to local businesses during a recession, helping to stave off further job
    losses.
    During the previous recession earlier in this decade, unemployment benefits paid in New York State
    increased by $2.6 billion between 2000 and 2002—fully 18 percent of the growth in total incomes
    over these two years, according to FPI’s Parrott. In some parts of the state, the benefits were even
    more important, he said. “In the Southern Tier region of the state, unemployment benefits were 88
    percent of income growth during the recession. In New York City, over one third (36 percent) of
    income growth came from the increase in unemployment benefits paid out.”
    “The unfortunate failure to adjust New York’s maximum weekly unemployment benefit to keep
    pace with the growth in average wages is costing New York’s businesses hundreds of millions of
    dollars in consumer purchases, and ultimately worsening the state’s already bleak job picture,”
    Parrott said.
    The National Employment Law Project (www.nelp.org) works to promote policies and programs
    that create good jobs, strengthen upward mobility, enforce hard-won worker rights, and help
    unemployed workers regain their economic footing through improved benefits and services.
    The Fiscal Policy Institute (www.fiscalpolicy.org) is a nonpartisan research and education
    organization that focuses on the tax, budget, and economic public policy issues that affect the
    quality of life and the economic well being of New York State residents. THIS IS ON THE NELP WEBSITE

  • Anonymous 01/28/2009 8:34am

    NELP is associated with UNEMPLOYEDWORKERS.ORG….NELP said by FEB the NY unemployment rate will be over 6.0 percent. Thats why we cant claim the additional weeks till Feb 22nd after the Jan numbers come out for NY. The New York State Dept of Labor Website has no info on it yet, as they are slow and this is NY. The phone lines are jammed ya cant get throught to a worker if your life depended on it!

  • Anonymous 01/29/2009 5:30am

    So all Obama"s plan is doing is pushing the cutoff date back to apply for the EUC exstetion. Not extending it to the people that have been on both tier 1 an tier 2 of EUC an will exhuast them in march?

  • Anonymous 01/29/2009 7:39am

    FROM WHAT I JUST READ THE EUC WILL COVER EVERYONE CURRENTLY COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT THROUGH JAN 2009.

  • Anonymous 01/29/2009 7:43am

    President Barack Obama’s $819 billion economic stimulus package, approved by the House Wednesday and now on its way to the Senate, would provide $500 million to the states to upgrade their unemployment insurance systems. The measure also continues the extended unemployment compensation program, which adds up to 33 weeks of benefits, until the end of the year.

  • Comm_reply
    nancym 01/30/2009 12:32am

    Yes, it continues the program, but does not provide additional weeks of eligibility for those exhausting benefits in Jan (under 6%) and April (states over 6%). The 33 weeks refers to the total extended and emergency extended bills which give an unemployed person:

    regular benefits: 26 weeks
    extended benefits: 13 weeks
    emergency extended benefits (Nov bill): 7 weeks for 6% rate in state
    emergency extended benefits (Nov bill): additional 13 weeks for over 6%

    That’s 33 weeks total extended beyond the regular benefits. Once those are used by any individual, there are no new funds. Read the actual bill.

  • Anonymous 01/29/2009 7:45am

    HOUSE APPROVES RECOVERY PACKAGE FOR AILING ECONOMY &
    UNEMPLOYED WORKERS
    Bill Would Fill Gaps in Safety Net
    New York – Following strong approval of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill in the House today, economic
    experts at the National Employment Law Project lauded passage of the package and urged the Senate to approve a similar bill
    in order to bring vital relief to the nation’s economy and unemployed workers. The House recovery bill, developed in
    conjunction with President Obama, carries several provisions, like the Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act, that
    would swiftly inject money into state economies and aid the TK million unemployed as jobless claims rise and states grapple
    with depleting unemployment trust funds.
    “This House vote is an important step towards boosting state economies and helping thousands of workers falling through the
    cracks. This recovery package will help unemployed workers weather the storm until their next jobs come along, and it will
    usher in immediate help to states that are overwhelmed by rising jobless claims. The Senate should follow suit, quickly, to
    deliver effective recovery for our economy,” said Christine Owens, Executive Director of the National Employment Law
    Project.
    Key provisions for unemployed workers in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill passed in the House today include:
    • Enactment of the Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act (UIMA), which would enable states to provide
    benefits for at least 500,000 mostly part-time, low-wage and female workers currently ineligible for benefits;
    • Extending the deadline to qualify for the Emergency Unemployment Compensation extensions through December 31,
    2009;
    • A $25 per week increase in unemployment benefits, paid for by the Federal government;
    • Subsidizing 65% of COBRA premiums for unemployed workers and providing Medicaid coverage for unemployed
    workers below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines;
    • $500 million in new funding to help equip the Employment Service to play a key role accessing the new jobs to be
    created by the plan;
    • $4 billion in additional WIA funding targeting key industries.
    “As layoffs blanket the economy and workers turn to their local employment offices for help, relief like the Unemployment
    Insurance Modernization Act is critical to accommodate the modern workforce, which includes large numbers of part-time,
    low-wage and female workers who are currently left out of the safety net. And in addition to being an important part of the
    safety net for workers losing their jobs, unemployment benefits pump spending power into local economies during a recession,
    boost businesses, and help to stave off further job losses,” Owens stated.
    National Employment Law Project
    The UIMA would provide up to $7 billion for states to cover more than 500,000 workers not covered under the current system,
    and set aside $500 million to help every state address the administrative demands of fielding claims from the growing number
    of workers applying for benefits.
    The House bill approved today would also provide much needed extensions of benefits, as more and more workers who do
    receive jobless benefits exhaust them. From January 2008 to December 2008, 3,542,000 workers exhausted their regular state
    benefits, and NELP estimates that a total of 2,129,694 workers will exhaust their regular state benefits from January 2009 -
    June 2009.
    For more information about the National Employment Law Project and the proposals in the House bill released today,
    visit www.nelp.org. Workers interested in the proposal’s elements should contact nelp@nelp.org.
    To speak with an employment expert or contact unemployed workers directly, call Tim Bradley at 646-452-5637.
    ###

  • Anonymous 01/29/2009 7:55am

    Americans receiving jobless benefits hits record
    Thursday January 29, 8:44 am ET
    By Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer
    Labor Department says number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits at all-time record

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people receiving unemployment benefits has reached an all-time record, the government said Thursday, as layoffs spread throughout the economy.
    The Labor Department reported that the number of Americans continuing to claim unemployment insurance for the week ending Jan. 17 was a seasonally adjusted 4.78 million, the highest on records dating back to 1967.

    ADVERTISEMENT

    A department analyst said that as a proportion of the work force, the tally of unemployment recipients is the highest since August 1983.

    The total released by the department doesn’t include about 1.7 million people receiving benefits under an extended unemployment compensation program authorized by Congress last summer. That means the total number of recipients is actually closer to 6.5 million people.

    Meanwhile, the tally of Americans filing new jobless benefit claims rose slightly to a seasonally adjusted 588,000 last week, from a downwardly revised figure of 585,000 the previous week.

    That’s close to the 26-year high of 589,000 reached in late December, though the labor force has grown by about half since then.

    The Labor Department’s report comes as large corporations from virtually all sectors of the economy are announcing massive layoffs.

    Starbucks Corp. on Wednesday said it would cut 6,700 jobs. The coffee company also said it would close 300 underperforming stores, on top of 600 it already planned to shut down.

    Time Warner Inc.‘s AOL division is cutting up to 700 jobs, or about 10 percent of the online unit’s work force. And IBM Corp. has cut thousands of jobs in its sales, software and hardware divisions in the past week, without announcing specific numbers.

    Boeing Co., Pfizer Inc., Home Depot Inc. and other U.S. corporate titans also have announced tens of thousands of job cuts this week alone.

    Companies have announced more than 125,000 layoffs in January, according to an Associated Press tally.

    Email Story Set News Alert Print Story
  • Anonymous 01/29/2009 9:42am

    The measure also continues the extended unemployment compensation program, which adds up to 33 weeks of benefits, until the end of the year.

    does this mean if we alrdy received the first for 13 weeks, and the one that passed before xmas for 7 weeks that we will get another 13 weeks? Texas hit 6.0 in december…im so lost =(

  • Comm_reply
    nancym 01/30/2009 12:37am

    Sounds like you are still on Tier 1? If Texas goes to an average over 6% for a 3-month period, your state will trigger “on” and you should be able to collect Tier 2, another 13 weeks. But you have to completely use up Tier 1 before they will add any Tier 2 funds to your account.

    There is an extremely lengthy discussion, spanning months, of this over on the HR 6867 forum. Probably find a lot of answers there just by reading over the last week of entries.

  • Anonymous 01/29/2009 11:53am

    FROM WHAT NELP TOLD ME IF YOUR STATE WAS BELOW 6 PERCENT YOU AND YOU RECIEVED THE FIRST 7 WEEKS YOU WILL GET AN ADDITIONAL 6 WEEKS. OBAMA IS TRYING TO EXPAND THE EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT FOR ANOTHER YEAR. YOU CAN FIND INFO ON THE NELP WEBSITE AND THE UNEMPLOYEDWORKERS.ORG WEBSITE AFFILIATED WITH NELP. PLUS IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS YOU CAN CALL NELP ANYTIME THEY ARE ALWAYS HAPPY TO EXPLAIN THINGS.

  • Comm_reply
    nancym 01/30/2009 12:47am

    There’s no such thing as 6 weeks extra in any of these plans, unless you have an unusual claim that does not cover full benefits. People are confused about the Tier 1-Tier 2 stuff (the law was written just to confuse everyone, I swear!) and that unemployedworkers.org site does have a whole section explaining the two Tiers.

    summer ’08 bill: 13 weeks
    fall ’08 bill: 7 weeks Tier 1,
    fall ’08 bill: additional 13 weeks Tier 2, for states over 6% (av 3 mos)


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