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Jobless benefits extended: Unemployment extension and retro pay in Senate plan

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Two million of the long-term unemployed whose benefits expired in December may yet get those retro checks now that the Senate negotiated a bipartisan deal. The deal cut by 10 senators should renew the federal unemployment benefits when its put to a vote, according the Washington Post on March 13.

The 10 senators, five from the Democratic Party and five from the Republican Party negotiated the return of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed on Thursday. In late March, the legislation will pass in the Senate, so folks don’t have that much longer to wait if the House will hopefully follow.

It is expected that the 60-votes needed to pass this legislation is no longer a hurdle in the Senate. The five Republican supporters are expected to join the 55 members of the Democratic caucus to bring the count up to the 60, which is the magic number.

The unemployment benefits for these two million long-term unemployed workers expired 75 days ago. A retro check for the time they’ve lost without their unemployment compensation may help some of these folks about to lose everything.

A five-month extension would be created by this bill, but they will back date it to December when the unemployment expired. This way the unemployment benefits will come to those who have been without it since that time. With a retro payment, they won’t miss a week of benefits.

The extension will continue into May if it passes the House and signed into law.