(AP) Jobless benefits on the way again Lump-sum back payments could start arriving next week
July 23, 2010
Checks could begin flowing again next week to millions of unemployed Americans who lost up to seven weeks of jobless benefits in a congressional standoff.
On Thursday, President Obama signed into law a restoration of benefits for people who've been out of work for six months or more.
"Americans who are fighting to find a good job and support their families will finally get the support they need to get back on their feet during these tough economic times," Obama said in a statement issued after he signed the measure.
Congress approved the measure earlier in the day. The move ended an interruption that cut off payments averaging about $300 a week to 2.5 million people who have been unable to find work in the aftermath of the nation's long and deep recession.
At stake are up to 73 weeks of federally financed benefits for people who have exhausted their 26 weeks of state jobless benefits. Benefits have been cut off for about half of the 5 million people in the program since its authorization expired June 2.
They are eligible for lump-sum retroactive payments that are typically delivered directly to their bank accounts or credited to state-issued debit cards.
Many states have encouraged beneficiaries to keep updating their paperwork in hopes of speeding up payments once the program was restored.
A 272-152 House vote Thursday sent the measure to the White House.
The House vote came less than 24 hours after a mostly party-line Senate vote Wednesday on the measure