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Unemployment benefits whittled down

June 27, 2012: 5:00 AM ET

Many long-term unemployed will begin seeing their federal jobless benefits disappear starting this week.

Although Congress reauthorized federal emergency unemployment benefits earlier this year, lawmakers reduced the weeks the jobless can collect payments. The cutbacks come in two phases -- one now and another in September.

This round affects the jobless in at least 24 states, while all Americans will be affected in the fall.

Now, those who live in states with unemployment rates below 6% are eligible to receive a maximum of 46 weeks of benefits, down from 60. (This includes up to 26 weeks of state benefits.)

Those in states with unemployment rates between 6% and 7% will receive up to 60 weeks, down from 73.

And the jobless who live in states with unemployment rates between 8.5% and 9% will be eligible for as many as 73 weeks, instead of 79.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities laid out the number of weeks residents of each state are eligible for in this map:

Click on map to see how long you can qualify for unemployment benefits.

These changes are on top of the disappearance of the federal extended benefits, which lasted up to 20 weeks. Nearly half a million people have already lost these benefits this year, and payments will likely end in the remaining four states over the summer.

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About This Author
Tami Luhby
Tami Luhby
Senior writer, CNNMoney

Tami Luhby is a senior writer at CNNMoney and covers income inequality, state fiscal problems, unemployment, housing policy and other economic issues. Luhby previously covered personal finance for Newsday and banking for Crain's New York Business.

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