Long-Term Jobless Face New UI Crisis

Several states will begin dropping long-term, unemployment-insurance recipients from their rolls next month.

Beginning April 7, 2012, jobless residents living in Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin will begin to lose their benefits. The federal Extended Benefits program, which grants claimants in states with high unemployment rates an additional 13 to 20 weeks of benefits, is being phased out. Congress reauthorized Extended Benefits in February, but GOP legislators forced provisions in the law that did not allow states to keep the program if their unemployment rates had not risen compared with a corresponding period three years ago.

Folks living in Kentucky, Oregon, South Carolina and Tennessee will be eligible for an additional 10 weeks of benefits until the end of May under another program known as the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

But according to the new law passed by Congress, all states will begin to see their extended benefits phased out over the course of the year. By December, the maximum length of combined state and federal benefits will drop from 99 weeks to 73 weeks.

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