In February, Congress put restrictions on extended unemployment benefits in states in which the unemployment rate has dropped, so as many as a quarter of a million people will lose their benefits much sooner than expected, reports CBS News (video below).
The checks are stopping for the people who have the most difficulty finding work, the long-term unemployed. More than five million people have been out of work for longer than half a year.
Federal benefit extensions, which supplemented state funds for payments up to 99 weeks, were intended help the unemployed until the job market improved.
Next month, an additional 70,000 people will lose benefits earlier than they expected, bringing the number of people cut off prematurely this year to close to half a million, according to the National Employment Law Project.