Although the federal unemployment rate is improving, there are still millions of Americans out of work. Many of these individuals are relying on unemployment benefits to keep a roof over their head and put food onto the table. However, the situation for some unemployed workers may get more dire, specifically in states that are dealing with budget woes.

The current unemployment compensation program is jointly administered by the federal government and by each individual state. While the federal unemployment benefits aren’t at risk, unemployment recipients in some areas may see the state portion of their unemployment check shrink or even disappear. Why? States are being challenged with some pretty hefty budget cuts and something has to give – unemployment benefits included.

Tami Luhby covers the possible cuts in an article that appeared this morning on Luhby discusses the following possibilities in her article:

  • Arkansas and Florida may reduce the number of weeks that unemployed workers can receive state benefits.
  • Indiana will limit the number of residents that qualify for benefits.
  • Florida workers that are laid off after August 1, 2011 may receive six fewer weeks of unemployment checks.
These cuts will help the states reduce their debt load but the changes could have a significant effect on families that rely on unemployment to pay the bare necessities. The jobless crisis is slowly getting better but with no end in sight, any reduction in benefits could have far reaching effects.
State unemployment benefits at risk
State budget woes may lead to cuts in unemployment benefits for some.