Emergency Unemployment Benefits Are Not Forgotten

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

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It's a disgrace ..this is not right.. That the government is treating us this way..we need the rise up..
I've been a Republican all my life, but if they continue to ignore the problems the Unemployment have, I WILL CHANGE MY PARTY.
I only got 19 weeks of unemployment for the first time after working 15 years straight. I have made it a mission to take all I can from the government even if I have to lie. They do it . SO AM I. It was tax time and I got back three times as much and I will do it every year now. I got foodstamps and I will lie to get them as long as I can even when I start working. I got my elec and water paid and I will do it again even if Im working. Im going to lie like them,seems to be the American Way now.
I will vote democrat all across the board baby!!!! Feel in charge now republicans,but your ass will be done after this next election and that is what makes this easier to deal with because I have no doubt republicans will be like dinosaurs real soon :) lol bye bye republicans bye bye!!
Now its time to pray for the u.s.a !!!!! Plz help mr.president.. !! Joe the plumer..
Im horribly saddened by all this. I used to be a man and a Hero to my kids. Now im just pathetic because i cant get a job with a B.S. In Business and an M.S. In Management and just has to cut off cable and cell phones. My govt wont even help this taxpayer with a lousy 275 dollars a week to feed my family. I used to be a Republican. Now im voting every bastard out.
The Republicans and Tea Partyers parade around claiming to be Christians, but their actions don't reflect it. They will someday be judged for the way they have so haphazardly brushed off the needs of Americans who want to work but cannot find work. Shame on those who continue to ignore the passing of emergency unemployment benefits! I want to be able to pay my mortgage, my bills and put food on the table for my children just as you do... I will not forget this come election time. Heartless is what I call you!
I have been working since I was 13. My first time on unemployment. After 26 weeks it ran out. I was BARELY getting by on the benefits I was getting. I have turned off my cell, sold any jewelry I had. I been eating with family. My pipes froze because I have the heat so low. The little savings I had is gone. March--no money for car payment or house. I have never missed a payment and owe 12k between the 2.. looks like I will lose them both if things don't turn around. I haven't been taking medicine that I need to take because I have no health insurance and cant afford it...when I apply for help..I am told I have too much in resources. I said well I can put my house or car up for sale, but that takes time. Why can I see commercials about feeding a child in a poor country?? WHAT ABOUT OUR CHILDREN? WHO is feeding our babies? Yet they send money to foreign lands. This country is headed for a revolution. People are tired of the politicians. I live in NY and they want to pay for college for INMATES!?? What is going on in this country? Jail is warm, free food, free education...something is wrong with this picture. For all those calling us LAZY and FREE LOADERS.. I can't wait until it happens to you or someone you love you bastards. How can they just keep dragging this out? I would much rather work. Give me a JOB! I will WORK! I am sure its more than unemployment and eventually will give SOME benefits. Everyone wants to hire younger people they can pay less and hope they move on so they don't have to pay benefits. I have sent out 45 resumes this month alone. I have gone to 4 classes to get help with interviews,resumes,and work search help. People STILL think the unemployed are lazy... YOU IDIOTS, The Department of Labor REQUIRES you keep a log of job searches.. AND THEY VERIFY WITH THE EMPLOYER!! Dept of Labor Requires you to show up for seminars and workshops. We're not sitting around waiting for a check. Get your facts straight you ignorant fools.
I hate to say it but I am NOT proud to be an American. I lost my job due to circumstances that was out of my control and I have been seeking employment since the day I lost my job in September. I recently graduated and have had a difficult time finding employment. I can only hope and pray that these politicians find it in there heart to help us during our times of struggle...losing everything I have worked so hard for these past two years while going to school & working full time is truly devastating...PLEASE HELP US THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!!!
you know what this is unbelievable my story is a piece of everybody else's story on here what my problem is they are using this stall tactic to not pay a lump sums this is all about the money for them it's all about what they can take for themselves it's all about what they can skim off the top and put into their own pockets it is such a shame that America is in America anymore we help all across the globe but we can never seem to take care of the home front it's freaking disgusting and I am ashamed to be an American and I am ashamed that I put any money into this greedy government that no longer has the agenda or better yet the heart of the people my suggestion we write down the names of every person that is involved take it to every church every family member every person that we come in contact with word of mouth Internet YouTube whatever it is we have to do to make sure not one of these people make it into office ever again let's learn from our mistakes and never let this happen again this is the only thing we have the only right we have as Americans when we vote the only rebuttal we have the only way that we can make it right is by making sure all these guys who are involved meet the unemployment line just like us