While lack of confidence in the recent economic recovery led employers to shed an unanticipated 85,000 jobs in December 2009—even as many long-time unemployed Americans gave up looking for work to keep the unemployment rate steady at 10 percent—the qualification dates for existing tiers of unemployment benefits were extended for an additional two months. That two-month bump in benefits was again renewed at the end of February 2010.
Now another deadline may leave millions of average Americans bewildered and without any money coming in to their coffers. In fact, without Congressional action to extend these benefits, this latest look at the state of unemployment means an unprecedented number of jobless workers will lose their benefits and become ineligible to get more by June 2010.
As The Huffington Post reported this week however, politics and partisanship mean the latest round of benefit renewals is far from a slam-dunk. “This week Congress will consider legislation to reauthorize extended unemployment benefits for the rest of the year. It's gonna be an epic fight: Republicans in the Senate will likely do everything they can to stand in the way of a bill projected to add $123 billion to the deficit, forcing Dem leadership to round up a supermajority for a last-minute Friday vote before Congress adjourns for its Memorial Day recess.”
But even if legislation passes extending unemployment benefits, it comes as very little consolation to the hundreds of thousands of long-term jobless Americans, seeking the hopeful “hand-up” of being hired into a job versus the alternative federal “hand out” while they continue their lengthy search. In fact, in many states across the country, unemployed workers can receive checks for 99 weeks, with no option for a 100th. This group, now dubbed the unfortunate “99ers” by some in the media, isn’t even considered in the latest proposals for extending benefits.
"What's frustrating is that our government doesn't seem to think this is an important issue," said Christy Blake, a 35-year-old mother of two in Fruitland, MD, told HuffPost. "We didn't put ourselves here. It wasn't our choice. I have been diligently looking for work."
Unfortunately, Congress seems to be less empathic and more apathetic than in months past, in some cases scoffing at the notion of extending monthly benefits because of the appearance that these subsidized sums encourage people to exit the job search. Case in point, Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper recently told the Washington Post that few laid off workers in her district were applying to hiring businesses because of a steady stream of unemployment checks. "Now, whether that's true or not, I'm still trying to decipher," said Dahlkemper. "But I think it's something we really need to look at."
But for average folks like Christy Blake, the situation is clearer: "I think it really stinks," Blake told HuffPost. "It's beyond stinking."
As a result, many are taking things into their own hands to address their financial woes and take back their fiscal freedoms to make a fresh start through bankruptcy.
In fact, knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney can also help any unemployment person to conquer their creditors and face their financial fears, yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost— for a viable and secure future. The bankruptcy experts at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.