Emergency Unemployment Benefits Are Not Forgotten

by Jessica Schieder, 2/26/2014

As politicians have shifted their focus to a discussion of minimum wage this spring, addressing the December expiration of emergency unemployment benefits, retroactively, appeared increasingly difficult. However, the Senate now appears ready to raise the issue, again, nearly two months after the emergency benefits expired.

The number of Americans, who have been cut off from unemployment insurance due to congressional inaction, will swell to just under 2 million people as February draws to a close. Approximately 1.3 million Americans were abruptly cut off from the program on Dec. 28, 2013, and the number denied benefits will continue to grow without congressional action. More than $3 billion in unemployment checks has not been distributed to unemployed workers as a result of the program‘s expiration.

The cut in unemployment compensation will continue to exacerbate shortages at food banks, elevate mortgage delinquency rates, and inhibit the ability of job-seekers to continue their search, if no action is taken.

Payroll employment, the labor market participation rate, and long-term unemployment have still not returned to pre-recession levels, and robust job growth in the near term appears unlikely. For these reasons, efforts to extend emergency unemployment compensation have attracted bipartisan support, especially among conservatives in states still plagued with high unemployment. Nonetheless, only four Republican Senators supported moving forward with the proposal in a procedural vote in early February.

Extending emergency unemployment benefits is a vital piece of unfinished business for this Congress, and it is perhaps the only vehicle of its kind that could provide relief to job-seekers trying to make it in a tough market. An extension of the emergency unemployment compensation program (EUC) should continue to be pursed for the same reasons the minimum wage should be increased-- the economy is not working for the average American. We can, and should, help low-wage job workers, those working part-time for economic reasons, and unemployed job seekers.

For a breakdown of ongoing state-by-state impacts, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has produced a concise chart that extends through December 2014 here.


For Further Reading:

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Are Not ForgottenThe Fine Print blog, Feb. 26, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Ways to Take ActionThe Fine Print blog, March 6, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Time to Petition the GovernmentThe Fine Print blog, March 12, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Compromise in the SenateThe Fine Print blog, March 14, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Boehner Signals Reluctance in the HouseThe Fine Printblog, March 21, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Extension Clears First Hurdle in the SenateThe Fine Printblog, March 28, 2014

Extending Emergency Unemployment: Senate Finally Expected to Vote to Extend Benefits   and Rush through Corporate Tax CutsThe Fine Print blog, April 2, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Bill Passes the Senate, Increasing Pressure on the HouseThe Fine Print blog, April 8, 2014

Stories of Americans Cut Off of Emergency Unemployment CompensationGovernment Matters, April 22, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Extension Expected to Take Back Seat to Tax ExtendersThe Fine Print blog, April 25, 2014

back to Blog

52 Democratic senators voted for Cloture on S. 1845: Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act and 42 Republican senators voted against it. I guess we know who supports us..

I feel like the house and congress thinks if they do not mention the euc that we will all just fade away. yeah, we will, we will be dead fuckers. oh and for your info, it is the repub party holding the euc benefits and the unemployed hostage, not the democrats.

Sorry Anonymous (not verified) (2/27/14 2:00pm), but you arethe wrong one. Both parties are at fault. In fact I’ll venture to say that, so called Democrats are even worse than Republicans. The Democrats don’t want to extension. They want to use this as an election issue against the Republicans. Don’t be a fool; this is just a snow job. Need proof? Why did they agree to pass the Budget and the Farm bill without trying to help the unemployed?

who gives a fuck whos listening big brorher or other wise.....atleast jail you would have more rights and three hots and a cot...

This is the worst set of elected officials (both right and left) I have ever seen in all my years. I used to have a party affiliation and as of now, considering I have lost everything including hope, I am ashamed to be affiliated to either. Sick of them working on things that can wait, there are ppl starving and losing everything they worked for! God help us because the gov't will not.

Give up people we all have been waiting for congress to act they will not. And if the time does come that they do on this issue it will be to late for anyone that is suffering now...

God Hear our Prayer Please!!!! Don't let your children be cold or unfed.,. Wrap us in your loving arms and show us hope and your forever love.... Bless everyone that has been forgotten... This is sad.... I would never want my children to suffer like this we have to stand and fight for what is right for today and for tomorrow... God help us and hear our prayers....

I agree, there IS going to be an uprising in THIS country too. I am surprised it has not happened yet, I am just waiting for it, it's gonna happen, americans are sick and tired of being shit on, while 'ILLEGALS' get medicare, food stamps, welfare, ( working under one name and collecting from our government under another name). take care of WE THE PEOPLE first, (taxpayer's) who have been pushed aside, stop concentrating on fing minimum wage (at this time) and focus on job creation, and euc benefits, oh, but we can certainly send billions of dollars to other countries , WHO HATE AMERICA but are the first in line for HAND OUTS. im sooooo sick of this crap. wish I could leave this country, oh wait, NO FUCKING MONEY, CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY ATTENTION much less GAS in my almost repossessed car, or fuel for the body.

Y will this website not stop interfering with my internet service..never happened till today..big brother? ??

I just sent my husband to the store with change to buy food in a car that's going to be repoed any day. I'm late paying my property taxes. Heck I'm late paying everything. They don't care about Americans. It's that simple. We're on our own. If it were warm out I could have a yard sale but who's going to buy anything? No one I know has money. I told my husband to buy pasta and butter and bread. That's all we can afford. Prisoners eat better than us. Shame on our Goverment!!!