For the most optimistic Americans, facing the notion of job insecurity, layoffs can be seen as an opportunity: for new and possibly better-paying work, to start a business, or pursue other career paths. But in tough economic times, these dreams for a better option can quickly become a nightmare as the realities of the nation’s employment scarcity take hold, turning what can normally be an exciting time of self-discovery into a fearful world of self-doubt.
Never is this more true than during the holidays, when the out-of-work are not only thinking of caring for themselves, but also what they can provide for their families, whether it be a warm, comfortable home or a load of presents under the tree. But in our continuing economic malaise, with unemployment still on the rise during this most festive of seasons, many are forced to face the fact (and communicate the same to their families) that for another season “Santa” must cut back.
This very scenario is the subject of a recent article chronicling what it means to feel the financial pinch in and around Christmas, especially for those facing a cut-off of unemployment benefits as Congress continues to debate the pros and cons of limiting these pay-outs in order to cut deficit spending. In it, we meet Samara McAuliffe, a 30 year-old, laid off mother of four whose reduced income is changing her ability to be truly “merry” this Christmas.
"’My son is four. He's at that age where Santa is a big deal," she said. "We did have a talk because he remembers Christmas last year. He can list almost every gift he received. I told him, 'Santa was cutting back in the North Pole this year, the focus was going to be more on family.' He doesn't understand, but I tried.’ McAuliffe, who lives in central New Jersey, said she will receive her final unemployment check next week unless Congress reauthorizes Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits programs, which provide up to 73 weeks of federally-funded aid for people who exhaust 26 weeks of state benefits without finding work.”
While McAuliffe is fortunate to have a spouse who still has a job, she is counted among the millions of Americans this holiday who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and will struggle not only to give gifts, but also to provide for the basics, including health insurance. “McAuliffe said she's been able to continue her former employer's health insurance policy thanks to COBRA, but she lost her job one month too late to be eligible for a 65 percent COBRA subsidy that expired in May. The monthly premium is more than $1,350 — almost as much as she takes in unemployment benefits.”
If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone in wondering what your options are, to not only make this a merrier Christmas, but also to make ends meet. Instead of waiting for the federal government to reauthorize limited benefits for additional weeks of help, many people are taking their financial futures into their own hands…turning to cut backs and better budgeting, debt consolidation, and even the benefits of bankruptcy—just to get by.
If “Santa” has had to cut back in your household, it may be time to consult with experts who can provide a sleigh-full of advice for downtrodden debtors just like you. The 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.