Legislative inaction could leave people without benefits
Some 1.3 million people will lose their insurance benefits at the end of the month due to legislative inaction from the U.S. Congress. Federal lawmakers have declined to renew emergency funding that had been implemented for the federal unemployment insurance program. The benefits provided by this program have provided consumers throughout the country with some degree of financial stability as they look for employment. Unemployment insurance was augmented by emergency funds due to ongoing economic issues throughout the U.S. that made it nearly impossible for many people to find work.
Senate refuses to provide more funding for insurance benefits
In early December, President Obama had announced his support for the extension of funding for the federal unemployment insurance program. Several lawmakers and legislative committees also supported this initiative. The idea was to allocate an additional $25.2 billion to the program so that it would be able to continue providing benefits throughout 2014, after which, the benefits offered through the program would either be reduced or removed entirely.
Benefits to run dry for many
The U.S. Senate has deemed the initiative unviable, however, and has not approved a funding deal that would have kept the unemployment insurance program afloat beyond 2014. What this means is that the majority of unemployed individuals in the U.S. will no longer receive benefits from the federal government, which may actually exacerbate lingering economic issues throughout the country.
Ability to provide benefits limited for states
Not all people receiving unemployment insurance benefits will be affected by legislative inaction, as states have their own insurance structures in place to help the unemployed. Without federal support, however, these states can only offer benefits for a certain amount of time. The vast majority of states will only be able to provide unemployment insurance benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks, whereas they had been able to provide benefits for as many as 73 weeks in the past.