The Boston Globe ran an article yesterday, June 16th, quoting Massachusetts Senator John Kerry as saying that the he expects the Senate to pass jobless aid bill aka Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 aka H.R. 4213 this week.
Meanwhile, over at C-SPAN.org, which I've found to be the best source for bills that are currently being debated in the House or the Senate, it's being reported that the bill is still in debate.
"The House-Senate Conference Committee on financial regulation continues its debate on the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010. The 43 committee members, or conferees, are debating two of the biggest sections of the bill, regarding systemic risk and resolution authority. These sections are related to the creation of a new regulation agency that would focus on risks to the entire financial system. Also under consideration is a way to provide the government rules to unwind failing financial institutions.
The committee hopes to have a bill approved by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by President Obama by July 4th."
Again, this bill does not add a Tier 5 of unemployment. What the bill does is extend the length of time an unemployed citizen has to file for Tiers 1-4 of the federal unemployment extensions, and extend the COBRA subsidy to an unemployed citizen until the end of the year.
The COBRA subsidy from the federal government pays 65% of your COBRA payment, leaving you with a payment of 35%.
This bill also closes the loop-hole or fixes the problem many people have who have worked part-time during their unemployment by again allowing them to collect the same amount of unemployment benefits they were getting before their benefits were recalculated or canceled.
I welcome your emails, and have tried to answer every one. Please keep in mind that I am not an unemployment lawyer and cannot give you advice on specific problems.
My advice is always to check with your state's unemployment office for specific questions, and to check C-SPAN.org, or your favorite new source for updates.
Call your Senator's office to advocate for a Tier 5 or to show your support for the current bill.
If you don't know how to reach your elected officials, you can find a name and phone numbers at USA.gov
It's the unemployed and the supporters of the unemployed who need to make their voices heard!
Times are tough - the employed are hanging on for dear life afraid they're going to lose their jobs while the unemployed are scrambling too few jobs. Take action!