What Is an Unemployment Extension Bill?


Quick Answer

The unemployment extension bill is a bill that the United States Congress can pass to extend unemployment benefits for a set amount of time. As of August 2015, the last time an extension bill was passed was in 2013, which extended benefits through December 2014.

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Full Answer

The extension was passed in 2013 due to the dire economic situation in the U.S. Normally, recipients of unemployment receive a set number of weeks that they can draw benefits. Once they reach the end of those weeks, the benefits end. The unemployment extension bill allowed all Americans on unemployment to file for an extension to their benefits. This would give them several more weeks of benefits.

As the economy in the U.S., improved the decision not to give another extension was made. The program can be renewed or updated at any time by Congress, but is normally reserved for times when the job market is not ideal for those who are job hunting. In 2013, when the bill was extended, it gave more benefits to approximately 1.3 million Americans. Without this extension, many people and families could have lost their homes, gone without food or medical care. The unemployment benefits do not fully replace the lost income, but it does help and can be paired with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamp, benefits and other government programs.

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