National

Nov 19, 2009 8:55 AM by Associated Press

Jobless benefits could end for many in January

The expiration of an emergency measure at the end of the year means more than 1 million people will lose jobless benefits in January unless Congress does something soon.

The recent passage of extended benefits in Washington didn't address an underlying problem: The emergency unemployment compensation program, including all 73 additional weeks, expires at the end of this year.

If the program isn't renewed, after Jan. 1 recipients who have used up their 26 weeks of regular state benefits, or jobless who are moving to a new stage of extended payments won't get the extra coverage.

Because of the health care bill, the Senate might not act on the extension until next year. Congress could face opposition over the cost of extending the program into 2010.

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