Extending Unemployment Benefits: A Logistical Nightmare

Ylan Mui: “State officials are warning that the bipartisan bill to reinstate federal benefits for the long-term unemployed that passed the Senate on Monday could be a logistical nightmare to implement and could expose the government to extensive fraud.”

“The move is being heralded as Washington’s last-ditch effort to stimulate the economy by helping the long-term unemployed. But the state agencies responsible for administering the benefits say actually helping that population could prove to be logistically difficult.”

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“A few states have even warned that implementation could be so unwieldy that they may opt out of Labor Department program that provides the benefit to workers.”

“The bill faces an uncertain future in the Republican-led House. But even if it does pass — and even if states figure out how to implement the measure — the effort to renew the federal benefits comes too late for many workers. After the payments ended in December, some workers opted to file for early Social Security benefits. Others may have enrolled in school or simply stopped looking for a job, disqualifying them for retroactive payments.”

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