Longer Unemployment Benefits Because of Hurricane Sandy?

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There are people who lose their jobs and don’t qualify for unemployment checks, because they worked so little in recent years that they haven’t built up enough credits to qualify, or because they were temp workers.

People who are self-employed whose work dries up also can’t collect benefits (for obvious reasons).

After a hurricane, all those people who don’t usually qualify for benefits can collect unemployment, if they can show their work was stopped because of the storm’s effects.

Moody’s Analytics has estimated that 86,000 people were temporarily idled by the storm. In Connecticut, just 11 people applied for this special kind of unemployment.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., have introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate that would allow these unemployed people to collect for 39 weeks, rather than the 26 weeks traditionally allotted for emergency benefits. Instead of employers having to pay for the extra benefit, the cost would be covered by the federal government.

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