Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The unemployment benefits extension bill as it stands is only to extend the time to file the tiers 1-4 unemployment benefits. There is no fifth tier that would extend the federal extensions beyond a total benefit period of 99 weeks.
Of course, 99 weeks is a very long time to draw unemployment benefits. However, in states that have double digit unemployment levels sometimes there are literally hundreds of applicants for each job that opens up. For people in these areas, finding work is almost impossible, and keeping the benefits rolling so that families can focus on job searches is a great idea.
Getting a bill to pass for a tier 5 extension may be impossible. The Senate hasn't even been able to pass the extension of time to file for tiers 1-4, citing fears about deficit spending and other arguments on how to pay for the benefits. Extending benefits even further than 99 weeks will take a lot of negotiations and a lot of good luck on the part of those who are pushing for the bill.
Still yet, there's no reason to give up hope. Anything in life worth having is worth fighting for. If the government can okay spending on Wall Street bankers and foreign countries, they need to make a tier 5 extension. There are likely few Americans who will object to helping out their neighbor, especially when so much is wasted on other programs.