Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Jobless benefits restored for millions

By Tami Luhby, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Millions of jobless Americans are getting their unemployment benefits back.

Hours after the House voted Thursday to push back the deadline to file for extended unemployment benefits until the end of November, President Obama signed the measure into law.

The approval came a day after the Senate voted 59 to 39 to restore the payments, ending a seven-week stalemate.

Some 2.9 million people were scheduled to run out of benefits by the end of the week. The jobless stopped getting their checks in early June, after Congress failed to extend the deadline to apply for unemployment insurance.

Senate Republicans, as well as Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson, prevented the legislation's passage, saying it should be paid for first. They suggested covering the $34 billion tab with unused stimulus money, a step the Senate Democratic leadership rejected.

Federal unemployment payments, which last up to 73 weeks, kick in after the state-funded 26 weeks of coverage expire. These federal benefits are divided into tiers, and the jobless must apply each time they move into a new tier.

The payments will be retroactive to the previous deadline of June 2. But it could take up to a month for states to start sending the checks again, experts said.

Lynda Kahn of Coral Springs, Fla., can't wait to get that check. She stopped getting benefits last week and applied for Medicaid, only to be turned down because she doesn't have dependent children. But she did get a supermarket gift card from a local charity to supplement her $200 a month food stamp allotment.

Kahn depends on her unemployment check, which was $275 a week plus a $25 stimulus-funded supplement that will be discontinued for those newly unemployed. She lost her job as a manager for a doctor's office last August.

"It covers my mortgage payment," she said. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 15,660.18 -254.56 -1.60%
Nasdaq 4,266.84 -16.75 -0.39%
S&P 500 1,829.08 -22.78 -1.23%
Treasuries 1.64 -0.06 -3.58%
Data as of 4:45pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 11.16 -0.82 -6.84%
Cisco Systems Inc 24.68 2.17 9.64%
General Electric Co 27.45 -0.85 -3.00%
Apple Inc 93.70 -0.57 -0.60%
Citigroup Inc 34.98 -2.43 -6.50%
Data as of 4:01pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

Boeing's stock fell by as much as 12% after Bloomberg reported the SEC is investigating the company's accounting practices. More

The S&P 500 has lost 11% in the first six weeks of the year and the Nasdaq is near bear market territory. But the U.S. economy is not in a crisis. More

Twitter's stock is sinking fast after the company reported that it lost customers in the fourth quarter of 2015. More

Bloom Technologies impresses Richard Branson to win the Extreme Tech Challenge startup contest. More

GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio wants some radical changes to the tax code. But the numbers don't add up, according to a new analysis. More