Unemployment Benefits: All States are NOT created equal. Benefits vary. How will the Fiscal Cliff Deal help those living in states whose laws don't permit the extention?
I can't be the only person wondering about this question. Will the Fiscal Cliff deal passed by the Senate really help all the long-term unemployed?
I am even willing to bet half of the un/misinformed public thinks there are some unemployed people that are now going to get another 52 weeks of UI benefits. Not even close! With compassion we must admit that who and how UI is configured is very confusing BECAUSE it varies from state to state.
Only nine states have high enough unemployment rates to qualify for the full duration, and as their rates decline so will the number of weeks of benefits.This map is from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) article last updated on December 26, 2012:
Republicans earlier this year also won reforms to the unemployment system, including a provision that will allow states to drug test unemployment claimants in limited circumstances.
The total number of weeks of benefits available in any particular state depends on the unemployment rate and unemployment insurance laws in the state where the person worked. The map below shows the maximum number of weeks of benefits currently available in each state.CBPP further states
Workers who exhaust their regular UI and EUC benefits can receive additional weeks of benefits through the permanent federal-state Extended Benefits (EB) program if their state’s unemployment insurance laws allow it(Empasis mine)
Admittedly, I know little about unemployment; however, I know highly educated people, mostly over age 50, who cannot find a job. Most will be forced into choosing early Social Security benefits which are greatly reduced by opting for early benefits.
That said, if I am reading CBPP correctly, no matter what Washington DC votes on, States have powers that can interrupt the unemployment benefits extension being lauded as a great DEAL.
To help me, and others confused similarly, perhaps some can share exactly how the Federal extension benefits states by the Senate bill "for one year" really helps the real long-term unemployed.
For sure, they will not receive unemployement checks for a whole year based on the reporting and charts included in the CBPP report.
So, the good news about extended unemployment is good news for who, for how long, how much, and then what?
The table below shows the average unemployment rate for each state over the past three months, as well as the maximum number of weeks of UI benefits currently available in each state through regular UI, EUC, and EB. (Note that federal UI is currently set to expire at the end of the year, and no unemployed worker will receive benefits through the EUC or EB programs after December 31, 2012.)Please go to the report, look at the charts and see which states, mostly Republican governed no surprise, are a little stingy with unemployment benefits.