In about two weeks nearly 1.3 million Americans who have been unemployed long-term will no longer receive unemployment benefits. 4.1 million people are considered to be long-term unemployed (out of work for six months or more), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A current budget deal proposal in Congress does not include a stipulation that will extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program that was set up by the government in June 2008. The program gives federal funds to people who have run out of their state unemployment benefits. Without a separate move from Congress to extend the program, benefits will run out on December 28.
Besides the people being cut of in December, 850,000 people will no longer have access to state unemployment benefits during the first quarter of 2014. People who are still out of work will have no access to federal benefits. About 1 million more people who have been unemployed are expected to lose their state benefits by June.
The EUC program has been reauthorized and expanded 11 times since it was first created. The most recent adjustment occurred on January 2 as part of the overall budget plan that the White House and Congress created to prevent the fiscal cliff.