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December 05, 2003
Federal Unemployment Program Set to Expire
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.

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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.

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