NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Lawmakers in both the House and Senate introduced bills this week to push the deadline to apply for unemployment benefits to as far back as 2011.
Congress last month passed a record-long extension of federally paid benefits, but the law only helps those who exhaust their lifelines by year's end. So while unemployment benefits now run as long as 99 weeks, depending on the state, not everyone will receive checks for that long a stretch.
If the deadline is not extended beyond Dec. 31, one million jobless Americans will lose their benefits in January. Some three million people will stop receiving checks by March, according to the National Employment Law Project.
Some 9 million people currently depend on jobless benefits. The government reported Friday that 10% of Americans are out of work and more than a third have been unemployed for at least six months.