MONEY AND WORK

News from the Progressive Review, providing alternative news and comment for over four decades.

April 11, 2009

LESS THAN HALF OF UNEMPLOYED ARE RECEIVING BENEFITS

Barbara Hagenbaugh, USA Today - While 13.2 million people were unemployed in March, approximately 5.8 million were collecting unemployment benefits at the end of the month, double the number from a year ago, the government said. That means less than half of those who were out of work and were actively trying to find a new job were receiving unemployment benefits.

"There are so many gaps," says Monica Halas, lead attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services, which provides free legal aid to low-income people. "People think (if) they are unemployed, they are going to get unemployment. Not true."

There are a number of reasons people are ineligible for unemployment benefits. Policies vary widely by state: The proportion of unemployed people who were collecting benefits in 2008 ranged from 18% in South Dakota to 61% in Idaho, according to the National Employment Law Project.

Often, those who worked part time or who were not at their job for very long before being laid off are not eligible. That tends to disproportionately include women, low-income workers and people with more seasonal jobs, such as construction, according to the NELP. A 2007 report from the Government Accountability Office found low-wage workers were about one-third as likely to collect unemployment benefits as those earning more. People who are fired for performance issues, who quit or who were self-employed are immediately tossed out.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home