While creating new jobs is a common theme of several provisions of the 2009 economic stimulus bill, help for workers and the families of workers who have lost their jobs due to the recession is also provided. Here are some highlights:
Extended and Enhanced Unemployment Benefits
The bill extends unemployment benefits for workers whose benefits were scheduled to expire at the end of March 2009 for up to an additional 33 weeks. The government estimates this will help some 3.5 million jobless workers.
Unemployment benefits for some 20 million jobless workers will be increased by $25 per week.
Persons receiving unemployment benefits will pay no taxes on the first $2,400 they get.
The bill also provided funds to help state unemployment agencies modernize their systems in order to better serve the increasing numbers of unemployed workers.
Health Insurance for Unemployed Workers
Under the COBRA program, workers who are laid off can buy into the health insurance plans of their former employer, but the coverage is typically more than an unemployed person can afford. The 2009 economic stimulus bill provides funds allowing the government to cover 65% of COBRA premiums for up to 9 months for workers affected by the recession. Workers receiving the subsidy must attest that their income will not exceed $125,000 for individuals and $250,000 for families.
Increased Food Stamp Benefits
The stimulus bill pumps nearly $20 billion into the food stamp program, increasing food stamp benefits to more than 31 million Americans by over 13%.
Helping Unemployed Workers Find Jobs
The stimulus bill provides nearly $4 billion for job training, dislocated worker job training, and youth services. Over $1 billion is set aside for creating up to one million summer jobs for young people.
The bill allocates $500 million for Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants to help persons with disabilities prepare for gainful employment, and another $500 million to match unemployed individuals to job openings through state employment agencies.
In addition, the bill includes $120 million to provide community service jobs to sone 24,000 low-income older Americans.
Also See: Who's Hiring Now? The Government
The federal government has remained immune to layoffs and they are always hiring. This tool helps you match your skills, experience and interests to open jobs throughout the federal government.