TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Unemployed New Jerseyans will get less help because Congress failed to extend benefits.

Those in the Garden State seeking jobless benefits for the first time will be eligible for up to 26 weeks of aid instead of 99 weeks.

State Labor Department spokesman Kevin Smith told The Star-Ledger of Newark most of the state’s 400,000 continuing claimants will be allowed to collect at least 20 more weeks. However, they could see their benefit terms cut short.

The state Labor Department says about 120,000 Garden State residents have exhausted their jobless benefits since the beginning of the recession.

October’s unemployment rate was 9.2 percent in New Jersey.

Lawmakers in Washington who oppose the extension say they don’t want to add to the national debt.

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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