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Unemployment Insurance Is Still 99 Weeks Max

The unemployment extension negotiated by President Obama in exchange for giving tax breaks for people earning more than $250,000 per year is not—repeat, not—an extension of unemployment benefits beyond 99 weeks. (HT Calculated Risk) The so-called "99-ers" are still dropping off the unemployment rolls as scheduled this month. Few newspapers other than the Reno Gazette-Journal have made this clear. The "unemployment extension" most other news outlets mention is the ability of the newly unemployed to collect for as long as 99 weeks, and that deal will go through the end of next year under a "tier system" that uses the unemployment rate in each state to set the maximum length of unemployment benefits (Maryland's is 73 weeks). That tier system is explained here by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Tax breaks for the rich? Those are extended for two years.

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