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Obama shakes up unemployment

Posted on February 27th, 2012 Read time: 1 minutes

People on unemployment but still seeking full-time, part-time or temporary work recently received some mixed news about their benefits.

President Barack Obama signed a bill last week that extends federal unemployment benefits – which were set to expire at the end of February – through 2012. In the process, however, he reduced the maximum duration of benefits for the newly unemployed from 99 weeks to 73 weeks.

The Rockford Register Star reports that the maximum number of weeks to receive state benefits had already been reduced from 26 to 25, and now recipients must worry about how the unemployment rate will affect their weekly check. If a state's rate falls below 9 percent, it will no longer be eligible to offer aid.

The San Francisco Chronicle points out that during periods of high unemployment, the government allows additional weeks of payment for people who run out of state benefits but are actively seeking work. The maximum amount an unemployed person can receive per week varies by state and personal earnings over the previous year – for instance, the maximum in California is $450 per week. 

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