Unemployment payments to end for some

June 17, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Right now, about 1.5 million Californians are on unemployment many for an unprecedented amount of time because of the recession, up to 99 weeks, but that's about to change.

Until now, people could get unemployment for two years. The money ran out and unemployment for some will end immediately.

Finding a job isn't easy in a time of recession. People spend hours on line updating their old files, resumes, and in job training workshops.

"Any field, any position, is as competitive as ever," says Kate Hasegawa, an unemployment worker.

That is why Congress created the unemployment extension program. It allowed workers to file their initial unemployment claim, then 26 weeks later extend it four more times.

The FedEd program was also added, giving the unemployed a total of 99 weeks of benefits. However, on Thursday night, the Senate rejected more funding for the program. So for now, the FedEd program will dissolve, and no new extensions will be granted.

"This is going to be havoc in America starting tomorrow," says Democratic Senator Harry Reid from Nevada.

The state is sending notices to the unemployed this week. Janice Shriver, with the state's Employment Development Department, expects it to jump start people's job search.

"I think you'll see a lot of people taking survival jobs that they may not have considered before," says Shriver.

"It is disappointing, but it's good they have a cap or something because I've noticed some people continue to be on unemployment," says Hasegawa.

"It's scary because if I don't get another extension, I don't have a way to pay my bills," says Jose Canizales, an unemployed worker.

Canizales is angry. He's in the middle of his second extension and is sure he'll need another. He gets by on his $400 a month unemployment check.

"They can spend all this money helping everybody else in the world, why can't spend some of that money helping us here. Take care of home first," says Canizales.

Some of the unemployed ABC7 spoke with say they may have go on welfare or disability to survive. Meantime, Democrats expect to reintroduce a scaled back version of the bill on Friday.


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