In November 2008 I wrote a brief post about the most recent federal legislation extending unemployment. As layoffs skyrocketed nationwide, state unemployment systems were quickly overloaded with far more applicants than the technology and staff could handle. Since then, the comments section on this post has become a place where people struggling with the systems can share information and advice on what benefits they are eligible and how to access them.
The post itself (reposted below) isn't all that notable. Far more enlightening are the comments from many readers.
Unemployment benefits extension passes: the whiplash edition
Amazing how fast the legislative and executive branches of government can work when they put their minds to it. Yesterday the Senate put aside its usual rules to pass an unemployment benefits extension (HR 6867) by voice vote. The House had passed it back in October. Just before 8 a.m. this morning, Bush signed it into law.
This is the same unemployment extension that Bush had been calling "fiscally irresponsible" up until the Department of Labor issued its latest round of historically high unemployment figures yesterday. Six Republican Senators voted against it.
The bill extends unemployment benefits for those who are on the verge of losing those benefits, for three months. The way unemployment works, federal funds are provided to states, which are responsible for administering them. If your benefits are about to run out or recently did, contact your local unemployment office to find out how they'll be managing the extension.
This comes on the heels of news yesterday from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Both announced a moratorium on home foreclosures until after the holidays.
Update: This post is about the Nov 2008 unemployment extension. Click for info on the newest extension in 2009.