Don't panic just yet. What will almost certainly happen Tuesday is that the Senate will return in full force and pass the extension, with some kind of retroactive coverage that will bridge the gap:
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Depending on extended unemployment benefits to see you through the Great Recession?
You'd better not: The Senate failed to push back the Feb. 28 deadline to apply for this safety net.
Starting Monday, the jobless will no longer be able to apply for federal unemployment benefits or the COBRA health insurance subsidy.
Federal unemployment benefits kick in after the basic state-funded 26 weeks of coverage expire. During the downturn, Congress has approved up to an additional 73 weeks, which it funds.
These federal benefit weeks are divided into tiers, and the jobless must apply each time they move into a new tier.
Because the Senate did not act, the jobless will now stop getting checks once they run out of their state benefits or current tier of federal benefits.