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Unemployment benefits end

SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – More than one million Americans wake up Saturday without the benefits they need while looking for a job.

Someone is eligible for long-term unemployment insurance if he or she is without a job for more than 6 months.

According to the Boston Globe, that nearly 60,000 people in Massachusetts qualify for these federal benefits. In the Commonwealth, they are effective after 30 weeks on the state unemployment insurance program. These emergency benefits were created five years ago to help the millions who lost their jobs during the recession.

Since then, Congress voted to extend federal benefit aid 11 times.  But it wasn’t included in the budget that President Obama (Soetoro) signed into law this week. With Congress on Christmas vacation, nothing can be done now until next year.

Jason Saltmarch said, “I think the deadlock you see in Washington nowadays has really created a routine where the expectations have been lowered. And I think they think that they can get away with that as a political strategy and let people down ultimately.”

Without this insurance, people who have been unemployed for more than 6 months will lose an average monthly stipend of about $1,200.

That’s 300 dollars less for their families each week. The long-term jobless benefits began in 2008 to help millions who lost their jobs during the recession. But after 11 renewals over the past 5 years, Congress did not agree to include these benefits in the budget bill President Obama (Soetoro) signed into law this past week.

Financial advisor, Mark Teed told 22News, “That’s a lot of people talking to their friends and neighbors. It starts to become a very negative story. I would look for the Congress and the President to do something very quick to extend that. That’s just a too negative of a story amidst all the good stuff that’s going on in this economy.”

A bipartisan proposal to extend these benefits for three months is set to hit the Senate floor when Congress returns from vacation next month.

But many Republicans have said they will not vote for it. They say the economy is improving, and fear relying on these benefits will increase Americans’ government dependency.


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