15 January 2009

ACTION ALERT! Tell Congress to Support Unemployment Insurance Reform as Part of Economic Recovery

Dear Friends --

We need your help right away to make the case to Congress that the economic recovery legislation now being debated should help all hard-working families collect unemployment benefits. As described below, please email your Congressional Representatives and Senators to support the Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act.

(Link to Email Congress)

Although you may be receiving unemployment insurance checks right now, did you know that only 37% of unemployed workers actually receive unemployment? True, some lose or quit their jobs under circumstances that leave them ineligible to collect unemployment, but far too many workers, especially low wage and women workers, fall through the cracks of the system.

That's because their states still have eligibility rules developed for the workforce of the Great Depression, not today’s workforce in which people work part-time in order to help balance their work and family responsibilities, in which there is a larger low-wage workforce than ever before (ONE in THREE jobs), and in which people, largely women, have to involuntarily leave their jobs because of compelling family circumstances such as caring for an ill child or moving because of a spouse’s mandatory job transfer.

An important piece of federal legislation, the Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act (UIMA), would provide states with generous financial incentives ($7 billion) to enact reforms of their programs that about 20 states have already enacted. These reforms have a proven track-record of making sure that more deserving workers qualify for unemployment when they lose their jobs through no fault of their own. The states that have already enacted these reforms will also be rewarded with generous grants that they can use to continue to expand and improve coverage.

If passed, the UIMA would also provide ALL states with much needed money ($500 million) to help improve their administration and delivery of benefits. As we have heard from so many of you, the states are really struggling to process your unemployment claims and get back to families with the unemployment checks. So this federal money to the states is desperately needed to help the state unemployment agencies staff up and fix their crashing systems.

As tough as things might be for you right now (only receiving unemployment insurance rather than a paycheck), imagine how much worse it would be if you didn’t even receive those UI checks. That’s the situation the UIMA is designed to remedy.

By clicking this link, you will be able to send an email to your representatives in Congress, telling them to support the UIMA and include it in the economic stimulus and recovery legislation that will be enacted early this year. We need your help right away, as Congress and President-elect Obama are very close to making final decisions about the economic recovery legislation, including the UIMA.

The clock is ticking and the economy is continuing to shed jobs. PLEASE take just a few short minutes of your time to HELP SUPPORT this important initiative that will help cover approximately 500,000 MORE workers qualify for unemployment benefits with the help of the Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act.

Here's a link to our fact sheet with more details on the UIMA.

Many thanks!

Maurice, Andy, Judy, Christine and Debbie, NELP


Thanks for all you do!
Live your values. Love your country.
And, remember: TOGETHER, We can make a DIFFERENCE!

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