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New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  nancym on Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:35 pm

GonzoFL wrote:Nancy,

Let me run this past you. My account as of today stands at $3005 and my next day to claim is 1/4/10. If I am figuring that correctly,that leaves me with 10.92 weeks of tier III. So,in counting ahead the weeks,my 10th week would fall on Feb.27,however,that leaves with a balance of .92. Do you think that will blow me out of the water for tier IV?

Groan. I assume you mean .92 weeks, not 92 cents, but it sure does look like you'll miss that deadline because of just that one extra week. I guess you could check that with AWI as far as your balance being correct, considering all the weird little programming glitches lately. But then how would you survive without the constant excitement of watching Congress debate the next extension of these deadlines in the upcoming jobs bill. Just kidding, but I know it's no laughing matter. Egads, sorry to hear this bad news.
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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  GonzoFL on Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:47 am

Thanks Nancy,that's what I was afraid of,and yes it is .92 weeks. I will have to get a hold of AWI and have them check their calculations....I'm not 100% sure they are correct. I thought I was suppose to loose a couple of weeks of tier III because I was still on EB as of Nov 8th.....but then again,maybe I mis-calculated. I appreciate your input Nancy....and look forward to watching CSPAN in the coming months(really starting to like the music they play....NOT....LOL) Merry Christmas to you,UIO,and to all our brothers and sisters held captive in this roller coaster economy. Job's for us all in 2010 sunny
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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  sc4ram on Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:09 pm

For what its worth, given the poor December jobless numbers that were released yesterday, many of the talking heads and opinion makers on the news are now talking about another extension of unemployment benefits.

This is just pontification at this point, but if double digit unemployment persists, I find it hard to believe that the Dem majority in Congress (in a election year where if the election were held today they would get decimated) would go to November without enacting a another extension. (They have proven that once they work it thru procedural hurdles in Congress, that virtually nobody will vote against a extension and the Prez will certaintly sign one)

This combined with the idea they are floating to pass a law to automatically register to vote anybody who is on any government roll (ie, receiving unemployment benefits, food stamps, welfare, tax rolls etc), another extension could be a cog in a plan for the Democrats to minimize the election losses.

What will be interesting is the President has said he will "pivot" this year and focus on deficit reduction, that and his chief economic advisor Lawrence Sommers, has said something to the effect that at some point extending jobless benefits contributes to unemployment, would seem to be in conflict with more extensions.

This environment will make very interesting political theater this year as our latest round of EUC expires this quarter.

Stay tuned.

Happy New Year and good luck to all.
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Report suggests high unemployment ahead

Post  sc4ram on Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:33 pm

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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  nancym on Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:56 pm

I had not heard about this move to register voters. Fine by me, since I spent much of 2008 registering all kinds of voters. But I don't think that's really going to be much help to Dems if they don't realize to what extent they have to give serious help to the unemployed and the economic situation in general. And it could even backfire with independents, given the current mood among some who are so anti-government and anti the government knowing anything whatsoever about them, in spite of being the recipients of government help. (shakes head in disbelief)

And frankly I hope Larry Summers retires or "gets retired," like the dinosaur he is. He's about the only Clinton holdover I really have any objection to, so I hope he decides to get out of Washington and go fishing or something.
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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  sc4ram on Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:30 pm

Im all for citizens excercising their right to vote as well, but am always skeptical about the government rounding up people who are on various benefit rolls to automatically register. It seems a bit to me like a conflict of interest. The conspiracy theorist in me visions a viscious cycle where the government issues benefits, then makes a appeal to its beneficaries "vote for us to continue your benefits". Not to mention I didnt see anything about safeguarding this system from illegal aliens, but thats just my paranoia.
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Extending Current UI Benefits - Latest NELP Email

Post  Unemployed In Orlando on Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:00 pm

For those who do not subscribe to the NELP emails :

Dear Friends,

As Congress comes back into session, our campaign to keep federal unemployment benefits in place kicks into high gear. We need your help in taking action now and ensuring that federal support to jobless workers doesn't end in the next five weeks.

As many of you know, the House has passed reauthorization of the federal extensions, COBRA subsidies, and additional $25 in every weekly check - which is all set to expire at the end of February - until June of this year. While we applaud the House's initiative in getting this done, we are urging Congress to make sure these measures are in place until the end of the year. It's up to the Senate to take this necessary step, and it needs to be done quickly!

Please take action and urge your Senator to act now to reauthorize these crucial unemployment extensions and support before they run out on February 28th. And, consider becoming even more of an activist by signing up to become a media spokesperson.

Here are the details:

1. What's the Extension Proposal? - We are urging Congress to extend the EUC program, full federal funding of Extended Benefits, the $25 per week in Federal Additional Compensation, and the 65% 15-month COBRA subsidy through the end of 2010. We know that unemployment is going to remain in double digits through the end of this calendar year, therefore it is important to extend this program through 2010. Unemployed workers need to know that Congress and their Federal Government is behind them through this whole year, and the communities in which they live need the assurances of the crucial economic stimulus that these benefits provide.

2. Funding the Extension Benefits - Some have suggested that this package should be fully paid for by raising revenue from other sources, which will slow down the campaign and creates an unfair burden on the program in this time of special need. Thus, we are calling for this package to be paid for through "emergency spending" if necessary. Unemployment extensions have often be financed by emergency spending because by definition, they are an emergency. While we appreciate the concerns of those who worry about the deficit, the fact is that this is important economic stimulus that the country needs right now. Were these benefits to not be extended, the cost to the country (in the form of increased foreclosures, the money that ceases to flow through communities, and the increase in public benefits that would necessarily flow from the cessation of these benefits), will be far greater than the money necessary to pay for this package.

3. Pass the Bill No Later than February 19th - These benefits are set to expire on February 28, 2010, but in fact, if Congress does not extend these important benefits before Friday, February 19, 2010, state unemployment offices will have to start sending out notices to claimants that their benefits are expiring, and they will have to start reprogramming their computer systems to shut down with EUC, EB and FAC benefits. Were Congress to act after the 19th of February, it could take most states somewhere between 2 to 4 months to get their programs back up and running and the disruption of benefits would be devastating to families and communities. The House of Representatives has already acted on their extension bill, now it's time for the Senate to act as well.

4. The Extension is Key to Economic Recovery - Extending UI and COBRA benefits is STEP ONE in any job creation program. Were they not to be extended, the economy could lose up to 800,000 jobs this year (according to the Economic Policy Institute). According to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, aid to the unemployed has the most significant impact on economic growth of any other policy options evaluated. Our economy is in a fragile state of recovery right now and cannot handle the one-two punch of this kind of job loss, coupled with the devastating impact on families if their unemployment insurance safety net disappears.

5. Act Now, No Time to Waste - The Senate is the target for now, so please start contacting every Senator you can - yours, any with whom you have a relationship -- and let them know that the Senate must extend UI and COBRA benefits through the end of 2010 and that they must do so by February 19, 2010.

We will be sure to update you at least once a week, or more frequently if there are issues we need to bring to your attention. If you have any questions or want to get more involved in this campaign, please visit www.unemployedworkers.org or email us at unemployedworkers.org@gmail.com.

Your friends at unemployedworkers.org,

Andriette, Andy, Christine, Debbie, George, Judy, Maurice, Rick, and Tiphany
http://www.nelp.org/page/m/6cf702e/7158dc1e/33da0ab8/6f6c9b1f/1057340534/VEsF/
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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  Jeff on Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:57 pm

Hi UIO. I just sent my emails. But I have a question that you may know the answer to. My Tier3 benefits will end in early March which is after the cutoff date of 2/28 to qualify for Tier4. If the new bill passes, will people like myself then qualify for Tier4 benefits? It really sucks to be unemployed in a State with an 11 percent unemployment rate and a county with a twelve percent rate, and yet not qualify for the seven week EUC extension which is supposed to be for unemployed workers in States with an unemployment rate above 8.5 percent.

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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  Unemployed In Orlando on Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:05 pm

Jeff wrote:Hi UIO. I just sent my emails. But I have a question that you may know the answer to. My Tier3 benefits will end in early March which is after the cutoff date of 2/28 to qualify for Tier4. If the new bill passes, will people like myself then qualify for Tier4 benefits? It really sucks to be unemployed in a State with an 11 percent unemployment rate and a county with a twelve percent rate, and yet not qualify for the seven week EUC extension which is supposed to be for unemployed workers in States with an unemployment rate above 8.5 percent.

If we can get it extended before the end of feb then you should be ok and i hear ya on the 7 weeks, fucking bullshit.... Evil or Very Mad
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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  Jeff on Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:13 pm

Unemployed In Orlando wrote:
Jeff wrote:Hi UIO. I just sent my emails. But I have a question that you may know the answer to. My Tier3 benefits will end in early March which is after the cutoff date of 2/28 to qualify for Tier4. If the new bill passes, will people like myself then qualify for Tier4 benefits? It really sucks to be unemployed in a State with an 11 percent unemployment rate and a county with a twelve percent rate, and yet not qualify for the seven week EUC extension which is supposed to be for unemployed workers in States with an unemployment rate above 8.5 percent.

If we can get it extended before the end of feb then you should be ok and i hear ya on the 7 weeks, fucking bullshit.... Evil or Very Mad

I take it you're in a similar situation? I wonder why in the world would they set such a short cutoff date in the first place.

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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  Unemployed In Orlando on Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:27 pm

Jeff wrote:
Unemployed In Orlando wrote:
Jeff wrote:Hi UIO. I just sent my emails. But I have a question that you may know the answer to. My Tier3 benefits will end in early March which is after the cutoff date of 2/28 to qualify for Tier4. If the new bill passes, will people like myself then qualify for Tier4 benefits? It really sucks to be unemployed in a State with an 11 percent unemployment rate and a county with a twelve percent rate, and yet not qualify for the seven week EUC extension which is supposed to be for unemployed workers in States with an unemployment rate above 8.5 percent.

If we can get it extended before the end of feb then you should be ok and i hear ya on the 7 weeks, fucking bullshit.... Evil or Very Mad

I take it you're in a similar situation? I wonder why in the world would they set such a short cutoff date in the first place.

Mines worse actually pale I guess they thought the economy would recover and we would all be rolling in dough by now scratch
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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  Jeff on Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:16 pm

Worse? Sorry to hear that. It's fearfull not having a job. Even unemployment, as welcome as it is, is scary because of the sheer drop off at the end. I'd rather have a steady part time job than be stuck on this roller coaster of the public dole.

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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  nancym on Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:50 pm

Jeff, UIO--

Tier 4 is 6 weeks max, not 7. And you were either paid for it at the beginning of this Tier 3 or it is calculated into the total. If you count up your weeks at the end of this and they don't add up to 14, then you should call and ask why. They made a technical error for me at the beginning, simply skipped a week for some reason, but I called and got it straightened out. So make sure you are getting 14 weeks (or whatever percentage of that you qualify for) by the Feb deadline. That Feb deadline does not affect that extra week from Tier 2 that is bunched in with Tier 3.

And as for that NELP email, so far none of us has seen any indication whatsoever that NELP or Congress has any special effort to distinguish extending the EUC program (just extending the deadlines for eligibility) and actually adding weeks for the 2-3 million people who will be losing all benefits completely after Tier 4 ends in March or earlier.

The House bill that the Senate is chewing on right now (the "jobs bill") bears no mention of a Tier 5 or any help for the long-term unemployed in terms of benefits, only a further deadline extension.

Several of us have decided to try to get an answer from NELP via email or phone. I tried to call today but didn't leave a message when no live person answered. But this email campaign they have does not address the needs for those at the end of Tier 4, unless they are planning new efforts not already in the works in Congress.
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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  Jeff on Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:15 am

Thanks NM. When they passed the Tiers3 and 4 with a cutoff date of 12/31, they added a week of benefits to the end of my Tier2 which put me one week beyond the 12/31 cutoff and disqualified me for Tiers3 and 4. Then they extended the cutoff date to 2/28 which qualified me for Tier3 while at the same time disqualified me for Tier4 because my Tier3 runs out in March. Ugh! Sorry to be so me,me,me. Anyway, have you heard anything else? Things are pretty bad nationwide....

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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  nancym on Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:35 pm

Jeff, ah yes, I remember your "case" now. Wasn't it you and one other person (motley or?) who posted about that one extra infernal week? And I thought there was some kind of possible reprieve for you, but I guess Congress acted just before the desperation point, as you explained.

The only news I've seen so far (haven't actually spoken with anyone at NELP yet) is that 30 Democratic senators (our usual supporters) signed a letter urging that the extension of benefits go until the end of 2010. That was posted over on Open Congress yesterday. But the report was a little vague and most of us suspected that it was only an extension of deadlines.

But for you, the news is a little better, since the existing jobs bill that passed the House, HR 2847, already has a built-in extension of dates, but then maybe you already knew that. I don't have too much doubt that they will pass another extension of that deadline, sometime this spring, but the bigger worry for most of us is that there will be 2-3 million of us losing ALL benefits by the end of March or earlier with no hope of futher weeks in the making. Seems hard to imagine in an election year, but considering how long it took just to get the last extension, I'm personally not counting on any new tiers in the near future, if at all.
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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  Jeff on Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:52 am


Hi sc4ram. As a registered Republican I have to say, God bless the Democrats. An extension would be great as unemployment is nearing thirteen percent in my county(Lake). It would be heartening to see some Republicans sign on early so as to preclude partisan stalling and grandstanding.

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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  Jeff on Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:01 am

nancym wrote:Jeff, ah yes, I remember your "case" now. Wasn't it you and one other person (motley or?) who posted about that one extra infernal week? And I thought there was some kind of possible reprieve for you, but I guess Congress acted just before the desperation point, as you explained.

The only news I've seen so far (haven't actually spoken with anyone at NELP yet) is that 30 Democratic senators (our usual supporters) signed a letter urging that the extension of benefits go until the end of 2010. That was posted over on Open Congress yesterday. But the report was a little vague and most of us suspected that it was only an extension of deadlines.

But for you, the news is a little better, since the existing jobs bill that passed the House, HR 2847, already has a built-in extension of dates, but then maybe you already knew that. I don't have too much doubt that they will pass another extension of that deadline, sometime this spring, but the bigger worry for most of us is that there will be 2-3 million of us losing ALL benefits by the end of March or earlier with no hope of futher weeks in the making. Seems hard to imagine in an election year, but considering how long it took just to get the last extension, I'm personally not counting on any new tiers in the near future, if at all.

Yup, that was Motley and me. Good memory Nan. So how's your situation? Working yet?

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Democrats look to new budget rules to tame deficit

Post  sc4ram on Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:07 am

Hi Jeff-

It would be nice if everyone simply declared there would be another extension , voted it in and went home.

There are a lot of political pressures facing the Congress at the moment, and many of the members are spooked by last week's election and are acting even more irradically than usual. Everybody seems to be discovering budget sobriety this week (and in the process crushing the remainder of my 401K plan by trying to run Ben Bernake out of town) .

There is a vocal faction out there that will object to another extension of unemployment benefits (not out of meaness but out of frustration by the the 85% + of the workforce that are still working and resent having to cover for their former co-workers while they are collecting unemployment) . That consituentcy will have to be serviced by some members of Congress, thus no matter what anybody up there says, a extension will take a while. (unless there is a major turnaround in the economy, I think we will get a extension eventually, its a hard thing to vote against. The administration also runs the risk of sending mixed messages, they would like to say the economy is improving but cant go on too many times advocating unemployment extensions in the same breath. (it looks inconsistent at best) .

Before we nominate our right honorable friends in the Democratic Party for the good citizenship award, have a look at the article below. The Hon. Sen. Majority Leader (Sen Reid D-Nev) has discovered fiscal responsibility, it looks good on the surface, he wants to exempt Unemployment extensions from proposed new tighter budgeting rules (good for us) . Im afraid the skeptic in me sees a "I'll run up the deficit for my stuff but not for your stuff" battle brewing, I think the Repubs are prudent to suspect a tax increase play in the works.

Lets face it, the economic outlook is bleak at the moment, in my view the only thing proven to stimulate economic activity in the last 20 years has been tax reductions , and unfortunately as of next year the Bush tax cuts currently in force will revert back to previous rates (in my view the economy will see this as a tax increase having the undesired effect of slowing economic activity) . Yes I know we have been promised that everyone under $250K/yr wont get a tax increase. But Im afraid I havent seen the legislation to carry that out being written. I think Leader Reid knows this and is trying to set the landscape to force some tax increases if his vision of new budgeting rules come to pass.

Lets hope what ever sausage comes out of this process includes a UC extension .


http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/jan/25/democrats-look-to-new-budget-rules-to-tame-deficit/
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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  MiamiVice on Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:00 pm

FRIENDS! i am in a brain turmoil and i need your help! I just saw this thing in Open Congress, i don't know if it means bad news or good news for us, i read it but, i dunno, it sounds as it's not good, so that's why i need you to please double check it for me, i will come back shortly to see if someone saw it. I am terrified as there is no signs of job anywhere , thanks my friends! Crying or Very sad

Senate Jobs Bill Skips Unemployment Benefits Extension
Tue Jan-26-10 02:55 PM
Source: Open Congress (via Washington Post)

Unemployment insurance benefits, which have been a perennial hot issue with OpenCongress users, will not be extended under the jobs bill that Senate Democrats are writing.

The House passed a jobs bill in December (H.R. 2847) that included a six-month UI benefit and COBRA health care subsidy extension among other things.

The companion bill that the Senate is working will be significantly pared down, according to a report from the Washington Post on a draft version that is being circulated on the Hill today. While the House bill would cost $155 billion, the Senate bill is expected to cost about $80 billion and be entirely funded by unused financial bailout money. According to the reports, two will be heavy on tax incentives for small businesses that hire new employees, money for infrastructure and energy efficiency projects, and funds to help state governments keep public employees like police and firefighters on the payroll.

Read more: http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/1490-Senate-J...
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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  Jeff on Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:25 pm

We are always getting bits and pieces of the whole picture. It might be that they will work an unemployment extension bill separately.

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Latest NELP Email 1/26

Post  Unemployed In Orlando on Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:54 pm

Just got the latest from NELP for those of you who dont subscribe

1/26/10

Dear Friends-

We are pleased to report that the campaign to extend the federal and federally funded UI benefits and the COBRA subsidy had a very promising first week. As the Senate went back into session, 32 Democratic Senators, well over half of the non-Leadership members of the caucus signed a letter to the Senate Democratic Leadership calling on them to extend UI benefits (the EUC program, full funding of EBs, and the additional $25 per week in benefits) and the COBRA subsidy through the end of 2010. In that letter, they also asked for a meeting with Leadership to discuss the matter.

The effort was coordinated and led by Senators Casey (PA), Reed (RI), Harkin (IA), Dodd (CT), Brown (OH), and Franken (MN). Joining them were Senators Shaheen (NH), Levin (MI), Stabenow (MI), Leahy (VT), Sanders (VT), Specter (PA), Kaufman (DE), Boxer (CA), Feinstein (CA), Whitehouse (RI), Wyden (OR), Merkely (OR), Kerry (MA), Burris (IL), Gillibrand (NY), Lautenberg (NJ), Menendez (NY), Kohl (WI), Udall (NM), Cardin (MD), Mikulski (MD), Byrd (WV), Rockefeller (WV), Akaka (HA), Begich (AL), and Bennet (CO).

You will note that not all members of the Democratic Caucus are listed, but don't draw a negative inference from that. Many are members of Leadership and do not by practice sign letters to Leadership, and many others declined to sign the letter at present, but made their support of the extension clear.

This week, the President will deliver his State of the Union Address. He will focus primarily on the jobs crisis and the issue of job creation, and we must all continue to press the message that extending unemployment benefits and the COBRA subsidy is the necessary first step in the job creation agenda. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that up to 800,000 jobs could be lost this year if these benefits are not extended through the end of the year, pointing out the importance of the stimulative and stabilizing impact of UI benefits on local communities.

To that end, here is what you can do:

Contact the White House and tell the Administration that it must support and press for an extension of UI benefits and the COBRA subsidy through the end of 2010. Demand that he signal his support in the State of the Union Address. When you are done with that, continue to register your support with your Senators with our action alert, or by calling the Senate switchboard and asking for your Senator: (202) 224-3121. The Senate also needs to be reminded that legislation needs to be signed before February 21 (Sunday) in order to make sure that no states start shutting down their systems that are processing all of the additional federal benefits available through the end of next month.

As a final matter, many people are rightly asking if the Senate is considering adding more weeks (ie, a 5th tier) of benefits to the EUC program. The short answer is not at this time. Extending the programs themselves through the end of the year (which currently provide for up to 99 weeks of benefits in many states) is the first priority and because of the high cost, not a simple task. As much as we all know that more weeks are needed because of the severity of the recession, it is simply infeasible to consider adding more weeks at the present time.

We will continue to update you at least once a week, or more frequently if there are issues we need to bring to your attention. If you have any questions or want to get more involved in this campaign, please visit www.unemployedworkers.org or email us at unemployedworkers.org@gmail.com.

Your friends at unemployedworkers.org,

Andriette, Andy, Christine, Debbie, George, Judy, Maurice, Rick, and Tiphany
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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  Jeff on Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:33 am

So this will give extensions to the newly unemployed, but not to the long term unemployed who've used up or are about to use up all the Tiers?

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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  Unemployed In Orlando on Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:36 am

Jeff wrote:So this will give extensions to the newly unemployed, but not to the long term unemployed who've used up or are about to use up all the Tiers?

It will extend the current EUC benefits through the end of the year, but doesnt look like any new additional benefits will be added any time soon.
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Re: New federal benefits legislation for 2010? --Please use this thread for all discussion

Post  Unemployed In Orlando on Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:37 am

Unemployment still grows and this shit just kills me -

"As a final matter, many people are rightly asking if the Senate is considering adding more weeks (ie, a 5th tier) of benefits to the EUC program. The short answer is not at this time. Extending the programs themselves through the end of the year (which currently provide for up to 99 weeks of benefits in many states) is the first priority and because of the high cost, not a simple task. As much as we all know that more weeks are needed because of the severity of the recession, it is simply infeasible to consider adding more weeks at the present time."
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