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Deal Trims Maximum Jobless Benefits to 73 Weeks

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Long-term unemployed workers in states with persisting high joblessness would no longer be able to count on unemployment benefit checks for up to 99 weeks under legislation before Congress.

Under this week's compromise for extending a Social Security tax cut through the rest of 2012, federal unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work more than six months are being scaled back.

If Congress passes the bill Friday and President Barack Obama signs it into law, the current maximum 99 weeks of benefits will gradually fall to 73 weeks by September. For people in all but about a dozen of the highest unemployment states, the benefits will be cut off after 63 weeks.


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