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Bill Would Extend Unemployment Benefits for Sandy Victims

The newly introduced bull would extend benefits and help cover the cost of unemployment for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

U.S. Senator Frank Launtenberg, D-NJ, introduced a bill Tuesday that would extend unemployment benefits to workers who lost their jobs due to Hurricane Sandy, and also help relieve the burden on businesses for disaster-related claims, his office announced.

The Superstorm Sandy Unemployment Relief Act is being co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut. The bill is designed to mirror aid provided by Congress to those who lose their jobs following Hurricane Katrina, Lautenberg said in a release.

According to a release, the “Superstorm Sandy Unemployment Relief Act” would: 

  • provide an additional 13 weeks of Disaster Unemployment Assistance, or DUA, benefits to eligible individuals
  • provide federal funds to states to cover the cost of paying unemployment benefits to individuals who lost their jobs because of the disaster. 

“Superstorm Sandy continues to exact a heavy toll on families and businesses in New Jersey and neighboring states. We're seeing businesses forced to shutter or scale back operations, and many workers have lost their jobs,” Lautenberg said in a statement. “While the state fights back from this devastating storm, this legislation would help workers and business owners get back on their feet.”

DUA benefits are entirely federally funded and are available to those who have become unemployed as a direct result of a major disaster but do not qualify for state benefits. Federal law currently provides for up to 26 weeks of DUA benefits, and Lautenberg's bill would extend the benefits for up to 39 weeks for victims of Sandy.

In addition, Lautenberg's legislation would address the strain placed on state unemployment trust funds in the wake of Sandy. While disaster unemployment benefits are covered by the federal government, regular unemployment compensation is funded by businesses through payroll taxes. Businesses in disaster-affected states may face increased payroll taxes to cover the additional workers receiving unemployment benefits as a result of Sandy, Lautenberg said.

This bill would help to prevent that additional burden on businesses by transferring federal funds to unemployment trust funds in disaster-affected states.

donald hinman December 07, 2012 at 10:23 AM
Frank your funny. You make me laugh. Thank you
tr December 08, 2012 at 03:09 AM
The government should bring back the "CC's", Conservation Corps, not more unemployment benefits!!! Plenty of work for everyone who wants to work, and if they don't want to work give them NOTHING. If they can't physically work have them man the call centers, if they are mentally unable to work at all, put them in organized qroup homes located at the abandonned military bases and care for them properly but, not with family that uses them as meal tickets and reasons not to work. You all want SOCIALISM, well welcome to it!
KC January 24, 2013 at 05:39 AM
Some of you making comments here I picture as being retired and collecting pensions and Social Security. If you haven't looked for a job in the last five years, you haven't a freakin' clue. You old farts were fortunate to be of a generation that was 1. small 2. funded by a war and 3. during America's heyday. You did nothing spectacular apart from being born to a lucky generation. You did NOT have to compete with foreign labor sources who will work for a dollar a day! So get off your high horses as you too are just a few checks away from being without resources. Show a little compassion.
wookfish January 24, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Nothing Spectacular? You pinhead,WW ll, Korea, Vietman....they have every right to sit on their high horses....except the liberal objectors
NJarhead January 24, 2013 at 03:42 PM
@wookfish. I'll second that.

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