The federal program that grants up to 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits
to jobless workers who have exhausted their state benefits is set to expire
before the end of the year unless Congress acts to renew the program, the San
Francisco Chronicle reports.
The newspaper notes unemployed workers would need to exhaust their state benefits
before December 20 in order to qualify for federal benefits under the current
program. Workers who are already receiving federal aid would continue to receive
it until they exhaust their 13 weeks.
It is uncertain whether Congress will renew the federal program because each
chamber will only be meeting one time before the end of year and the economy
has picked up steam recently, according to the newspaper.
Unemployed workers and their advocates are also concerned because less attention
has been brought to the expiration of the federal-aid program this time around.
The program was scheduled to conclude at the end of 2002, but Congress extended
the program in January and again in May, the newspaper notes.
Under the federal program, workers in states with high unemployment can receive
up to 26 weeks of federal aid.