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To receive government money, laid-off workers would have to file a claim with their state government, which will manage the unemployment program, as well as the federal government. In most case, workers would also have to enroll in a job training program.

Displaced workers would also be eligible to receive health insurance, with the government footing 80 percent of the bill.

The billions of dollars that would finance the unemployment fund would come from polluters under the cap-and-trade system. The system requires companies and entities that pollute to pay for the right to emit carbon dioxide above government-established limits.

Job losses probably would not happen right away, even if Congress meets President Obama’s deadline for a bill by the end of the year. Its main provisions do not take effect until 2012.

“I doubt there will be a bunch of people filing for assistance when the bill first launches because it won’t have a huge economic effect for at lease five years,” said James Heintz, associate director for the Political Economy Research Institute at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who co-authored a study on job creation under the bill.