Nevada's Unemployed Get Long-Awaited Help - 8 News NOW

Nevada's Unemployed Get Long-Awaited Help

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Unemployed Nevadans could soon receive more financial help following a vote by Congress to extend unemployment benefits. The bill is expected to be signed quickly by President Obama.

The bill would extend unemployment benefits by 14 weeks and in states -- such as Nevada --where there is a high unemployment rate the extension would add another six weeks. That extension will be available to states that have an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent or higher. Nevada's unemployment rate of 13.3 percent is the second highest in the country.

News of the congressional passage traveled fast at local job seeking offices Thursday after the House signed the bill.

There are an estimated 10,000 Nevadans who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. Mae Worthey with the Nevada's Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation says this couldn't come at a better time.

"If I had my choice, I'd hope for it to pass today. Because that means people could start getting the money very soon that they desperately need," she said.

Never has the federal government extended unemployment benefits for this length of time. Currently people can receive up to 79 weeks unemployment, this bill would extend it up to 99 weeks for some.

Worthey says currently Nevada has 120,000 people receiving unemployment benefits and there are another 190,000 without jobs. One of them is Timothy Rogers. He's a single dad and has been out of work for nearly a year. He says the only better news than the benefit extension would be an actual job offer.

He receives $270 a week in unemployment benefits and says it pays for food and a few insurance bills for him and his son.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill quickly. There is still no word yet on how quickly those benefits will be available. Worthey says the state plans to notify everyone in their system and those who are no longer receiving benefits if they qualify.


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