Unemployed Would Lose Benefits If Federal Budget Cuts Go Through

unemployment benefits federal budget cutsBy Tami Luhby

The long-term unemployed can kiss goodbye almost 10 percent of their weekly jobless benefits if federal budget cuts go into effect on March 1. Many safety net programs, such as food stamps and Medicaid, are protected from the $85 billion in forced spending cuts, but extended federal unemployment benefits are vulnerable.

Those payments kick in when state benefits, which last up to 26 weeks, run out. Eligible workers can then collect federal benefits for up to 47 weeks. The payments, which average $300 a week, are an emergency measure Congress has been authorizing since 2008. It's a stopgap aimed at protecting the millions of Americans struggling to find new jobs in a challenging economy.

More: Sign Up For AOL Jobs' Newsletter

The forced spending cuts scheduled to take effect next month trim the program's funding. Recipients of those payments could lose an average of more than $400 in benefits each through the end of the federal fiscal year, according to the Department of Labor. The fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. State benefits would not be affected.

An estimated 3.8 million Americans currently receive federal unemployment benefits. Just when they'll see smaller checks depends on where they live. It could take a few weeks, as states scramble to reprogram their systems if Congress fails to avert the cuts. But any reductions would be retroactive to March 1.

"The longer a state waits, the next check the person gets could be very small," said Brian Langley, unemployment insurance director for the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.

More: Weekly Unemployment Claims Drop More Than Expected

Many of the federal budget cuts will not be felt immediately, but the slashing of unemployment benefits will ripple through the economy fairly quickly. Recipients often use the money to pay for housing, food and other necessities.

"Losing 10 percent of your check will be felt," said a House staffer involved in assessing the cuts' impact.

The budget cuts also mean the unemployed will have fewer resources at job centers, as funding aimed at helping dislocated workers, low-skilled adult workers and disadvantaged youth find positions is sliced. Veterans' transition assistance, which helps military personnel find jobs when they return home, would also be cut. States will also lose part of their funding to administer the unemployment insurance program, which could result in staff layoffs and slower processing of claims.

Defense Budget Cuts Likely To Impact Personnel




Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now



More From CNNMoney



Looking for a job? Click here to get started.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

41 Comments

Filter by:
psridgell

How long can America continue to spend 40 percent more money than they take in ? No amount of taxes on the rich and middle-class can ever payoff our present 16 trillion in debt. America will lose the ability to borrow at some point, then all that will be left is to print money, that will be worth less than monopoly money.

February 21 2013 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ROSEYWOLF

Just proves how little the right wing extremist called "the Tea Party" ( I really can't see any true difference between them and the other religious extremist that want to destroy our nation), really care about the majority of the people in this country. So many hardworking people, down on their luck cuz well crap happens. So throw them away, I keep expecting to hear them say " let them eat their young". Or does anyoone else out their remember the referance. I say impeach each and everyone who won't vote for the Dem's latest compromise . Since they won't compromise unless forced to, IMPEACH TEA PARTY TERRORIST and CHARGE THEM WITH TERRORISM.

February 21 2013 at 3:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ROSEYWOLF's comment
Michele

You think it's The Tea Party? No...its someone called the Presiden of The United States that is doing it!

February 22 2013 at 3:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lllcln

time now to start cutting those senators and congress men/women that want to cut military retiree,s,health care social security medicare,medicade,food for children and healthcare,unemployment.we need to put the senators congressmen on the same healthcare as seniors,children.let them have the same greive that they give us.send e-mails to tom colburn from okla.lamar alexander from tenn and let them know you want to cut their benefits and limit their cost of living like they want to do to seniors.

February 21 2013 at 1:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jnsmill44

Everybody talking about "budget cuts" there are no real cuts in the so-called sequestration, there are only cuts in the rate of growth, all this B/S about the lay offs a and the shy is going to turn gray, and the birds are going to stop singing, granma is going to starve, is nothing but scare tactics, designed to prop up the Obama administration's agenda of destroying the republican party. after all sequestration was Obama's Idea in the first place, and now he is blaming it on the other party.....actually nothing new there, he has been blaming all his short comings on everything and everybody except where the real blame belongs

February 21 2013 at 10:43 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
richard

The problem like so many programs is the corruption in them. At first I agree we need programs to help people unemployed. I too at one time was unemployed and told by a state worker I did not deserve benefits to be extended. After looking harder and working with VA help I found a job and moved. But in the 90’s companies like Brain they saw ways making CEO’s and investor rich came in to play with the help of Congress. And now while you are unemployed and Congress gives them a pay raise and tax breaks to lobbyist that helped you loose your job what are you going to do about? Its both Dem’s and Rep’s that have there hands in cookie jar. Just few days ago Nancy Pelosi was crying about a pay cut even though she is one of the riches Congress man/woman . So keep electing this people in office that talk from both sides otf there months.

February 21 2013 at 10:39 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
thomasthomasmmm

That's the President's and Politicians problem's. When they do cut the Budget they cut the Muscle and Bone not the Fat so they and they're Donor's (Bribe's) can cry all the way to the Bank..........Pure Hogwash, they themselves admit that Medicare is being cheated out of 80 Billion or possibly more. (Probally More) each year. Just recently they were appualding and patting themselve's on the back for finding 4 Billion in Medicare theft's. Alas they just recently dismissed almost 80% of pending case's against these crook's because they failed to notify another Department of the Government to show up in Court to prosecute these Crook's. What a bunch of Idiot's. Yet they want to control more issue's in everyone's life. These people are moron's and thieve's.

February 21 2013 at 10:28 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
rudniski136

Will that mean that the "Unemployment Numbers" will then drop into the 6 percents and the administration will tell us what a great job they are doing "creating jobs" and how well the economy is doing?

Just asking.

February 21 2013 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rudniski136's comment
jnsmill44

Right.

February 21 2013 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
legalcld

So O has this in his sequestration bill? Still believe he's really looking out for the little guy? But hey, I'm sure he's thinking about YOU as he's on the golf course with his RICH oil buddies$$$

February 21 2013 at 10:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jpsnyder46

In 73 weeks most basic job skills will be lost, time to shorten the debilitation period. Now if we would lower the minimum wage we could get those people to work at something where they would contribute to society, and learn skills to move to a better job.

February 21 2013 at 10:05 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jpsnyder46's comment
Drew

And then they would be reduced to an even lower poverty level....what a generous guy you are.....

February 21 2013 at 10:52 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

Ringling Brothers has some old circus tents I can get for nothing and set them up in the Washington DC area for these people. I think I can get some drums of slop from the World Health Organization.

February 21 2013 at 8:47 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

Week of Aug 17 - Aug 24
View All

Picks From the Web