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Benefits For the Unemployed to End Early
Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tough times for the unemployed are about to get even more trying.

Despite Congress renewing extended benefits until the end of the year, benefit checks will be stopped sooner than anticipated.

For the long-term unemployed, roughly more than five million people, their last line of survival will come to an end next month. According to the National Employment Law Project, nearly half a million people will be affected by this early cut off.

Republicans are concerned that the federal extension will hurt employment growth. Democrats on the other hand believe that the unemployed don't have many other options to turn to and that the immediate spending of these checks contributes to stimulus.

For those unemployed to continue receiving benefits, they must now prove that they have been actively looking for work with documents showing contacts of at least three employers per week.

Most states allow 26 weeks of unemployment benefits and the number of additional weeks is then provided by the federal extensions. Ninety-nine weeks became a symbol for the jobless struggle after those who had exhausted their benefits at that point.

The first few months of benefits are covered by taxes on employers, so some states are creating more requirements to make it harder for people to qualify for benefits.

Across the country, people generally apply for benefits by phone. However, in a complaint received by the federal labor secretary, Florida began requiring people to submit online applications as well as a 45-minutes assessment of their job skills.

Implementing these additonal steps has caused benefit denials to skyrocket with 30 percent of applicants rejected nationwide.

The issues of job creation and unemployment remain heated debates on Capitol Hill and has proven that their solutions are nearly impossible to predict.

As of now, the economy is not in a recession but its recovery still shaky. With unemployment benefits now being cut off, people nationwide are having to weigh options for recoveries of their own.
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