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Unemployment Benefits Could Come to Screeching Halt

Although the country is well on the way toward full financial recovery after the economic crisis that rocked nearly every American industry in 2008 and 2009, unemployment numbers are still high. While there is a significant safety net for the unemployed in America, which includes benefits, unemployment insurance, and temporary compensation, that could be changing at the end of 2013. “Unless the president and Congress act before the end of the year, more than a million Americans will have the plug pulled on their jobless benefits the week after Christmas, and many others who’ve recently become unemployed or will become unemployed next year will see them sharply curtailed,” according to US News and World Report.

The difficult thing about a recession is that at the same time that people are losing their jobs, there are less available jobs in most markets. Unemployment spells get longer, and “income losses from unemployment drain purchasing power from the economy,” reports US News and World Report, which of course makes “an economic downturn worse and the recovery from it weaker.” While many people who lost their jobs during the recession lost their jobs solely as a result of cutbacks and the tightening of corporate accounts, if you feel as if you’ve been wrongly terminated it’s important that you contact an employment attorney immediately.

The changes that will happen if Congress fails to change the current legislation primarily regard the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program. EUC was enacted in 2008, just as the recession began to hit. The money was available in states “with particularly high unemployment rates,” according to US News and World Report. Illinois is in a class only with Nevada when it comes to the comparison of the maximum duration of unemployment insurance allowed—Illinois and Nevada are the only states that guarantee 70–73 weeks of unemployment insurance. This, of course, leaves Illinois residents more protected than residents of other states in which the insurance duration is shorter. In North Carolina, for example, the duration is only 19 weeks.

Regardless, if you or someone you know is facing unemployment—especially if you believe you’ve been wrongly fired—don’t go through it alone. Contact an Illinois employment attorney today.

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