Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dear Helpline

The New York Times is reporting today that the number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits has reached an all-time high. Read the article here. With so many people out of work and needing assistance, 9to5 wants to make sure you know about recent changes to the unemployment benefits you can receive. The following has been taken from the "Dear Helpline" column in 9to5's Winter 2009 Newsline:

I only have one week left of unemployment benefits and I haven't found a new job. What can I do??

You're in luck -- in December, Congress passed an extension of unemployment insurance benefits for all fifty states. This means that everyone currently receiving unemployment insurance can collect benefits for seven more weeks. Also, if you live in a state with an unemployment rate higher than 6% (which is now a majority of states) your benefits will be extended another thirteen weeks -- for a total of twenty additional weeks. To find out how long your extension will be, contact your state Department of Labor or the Bureau of Labor Statistics at (202) 691-5200 or for the unemployment rate in your state.

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