On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate approved an extension of unemployment benefits, and anyone is eligible who has not used up all the tiers of unemployment insurance. If you have been out of work for 26 weeks, this is the period when benefits end.
The legislation that Obama signed will extend unemployment benefits through the month of November for Americans who have not yet used up the 99 weeks.
However, the length of time varies by state depending on the severity of the unemployment in each state. The bill will not add any additional weeks for people who has already exhausted their unemployment, like the 99er's a group who has already collected 99 weeks of unemployment insurance.
The grueling legislative battle was when Republicans argued that nearly $34 billion cost of the extension should be paid for with spending cuts, but Democrats said the 9.5 unemployment rate is an emergency. The Senate voted 59-39 in favor of the legislation.
Some 2.5 million people will get lump-sum checks, because the last extension expired is retroactive, meaning its retroactive to June, but the checks will not be as large as they had been, because the Senate Omitted the $25 per person that had been added as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.