Earlier this month, President Obama signed into law H.R. 3548, a bill that extends unemployment insurance benefits for millions of out-of-work Americans.
After a lengthy debate in Congress over which states would qualify for an extension of benefits, the final version of H.R. 3548 extended benefits by up to 14 weeks for all states, along with an addition 6 weeks for states with unemployment rates higher than 8.5 percent.
Funding for the bill is provided by an extension of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) surtax of .2 percent. The FUTA surtax was scheduled to drop from 0.8 percent to 0.6 percent at the end of 2010, but due to the extension, the surtax will continue into 2011.