Unemployment Extension Update

by Rich DeMatteo on October 29, 2009 · 31 comments

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Legislation Update

On October 27th Senate agreed on an 87-13 procedural vote to extend unemployment insurance.  A final vote will take place sometime this week, but all signs point to unemployment insurance being extended further.

What does this mean?

If your unemployment insurance benefits have been exhausted before the passing of this bill, you WILL be eligible for additional weeks of unemployment benefits.  However, be aware that this bill is NOT retroactive.  Those looking to receive a jumbo lump sum payment dating back to when benefits were exhausted will be mildly disappointed.  Don’t frown too hard, your benefits will begin immediately moving forward.

*** Legislation can change from State to State so check y our individual State Unemployment Office for more information.

Do you have questions on unemployment benefits, or any horror stories to share?

Leave a comment below with your question or unemployment horror story.  Many people have exhausted their unemployment benefits and need this extension.  Don’t hold back, I want to hear from you.

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27 comments
st
st

Our Goverment used to be the best and now they are like a third world country ,they cant make a decision if their life depended on it .I do not see them in goverment suffering and trying to feed their family ,they need to pass the extention and i mean right now not wait till the end of this year .Also most people want to work but their are no jobs get real for ever job their are 20 people trying for it .Past the bill for up to 99 weeks and feed the americans that support you ,and stop sending billions to other countrys .

dd
dd

the only thing I have to say is the goverment sucks by. they dont care about the people of the united states. as lone has they make the big bucks they are all happy. but us plan joes that lost there jobs and lost there homes fiting to fine a place to live with kids they just dont care lest. they keep give money to other conuties now really do they need that money . we the people of the united states need the money. it is dam hard to find a job. people look at you like really you want to work here, ha ha funny . it just sickens me that the goverment dont fit for there own people.

Jeff Lawton
Jeff Lawton

Try this one on for size - except for 5 weeks starting November 2008 (which was SUPPOSED to be a six month contract except the customer "ran out of money") I've been unemployed since December 2007. The 5 weeks was in California, my state of permanent residence, but the "big" 14 month assignment was working for a major government contractor back in Connecticut. When the Connecticut job was over I called EDD but they said "we changed the rules last Sunday, you have to apply for UI in the state you worked in". So for the past 23 months I've been collecting unemployment from Connecticut DOL, the checks had been coming in regularly although the amount on them seemed to vary crazily with little or no justification. Now just yesterday (day after Thanksgiving, wouldn't you know) Connecticut DOL sent me a little missive which said in effect, "we just noticed that at some date back last June you SHOULD HAVE (my emphasis, I received no notification about this from EITHER state) canceled your claim in Connecticut and applied in California. But just send us a check for $10,268 immediately and we'll forget the whole thing." Um, sure, where am I supposed to come up with loot like that? I called up Federal DOL and they got right on it, assigned an investigator, case # etc. , but as of now I still have no weekly check and no concept how long it'll take to get this mess straightened out IF EVER. And the government thinks it's earned the right to come between me and my doctor??

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Sam - great comment. I too, have been in the same situation as you. We both are extremely lucky to maybe be at the beginning of our lives, rather than settled down with a family. I've been ranting a lot about "FUNemployment" and what to do during a break from working, but many can not live life that way. You've taken your situation and turned it into a positive, like many young people have tried to do. We fit into a very similar mold in that way, and I respect what you've done and how you've developed yourself. Positivity is key. Many of the people that have shared stories feel they are close to losing it all, or maybe feel they already have. I truly do believe things will turn around for them shortly, and if they keep their heads up someone will be able to see the face of a hungry, skilled, and capable job seekers that can immediately add value to their company. Keep up the great work, Sam.

Sam Diener
Sam Diener

Rich, I wanted to share the positives of my story because I don't want to lament. It always makes things worse. Yes, I am like most. I lost my job about 4 months ago. I have found myself amongst the 1 position for every six people "thing.". I have had job offers and then been called the next day and told there was no funding for a position. My social life and my wallet has taken a hit. And yet, I am not like most.. Because I am young, with no family. My heart goes out to you that do. However, I have had more time to grow up, and find positive skillsets in my life that I never would have found had I been working. I have made unbelievable contacts. I have become self-reliant and am knocking down the door to being an entrepreneur. And all of these opportunities never would have came if I was still in a job. A quick verse from the Talmud: I think it goes : "I see the world not as it is, but as I am...". In my unemployment, I didn't go to rabinnical school - but I have learned just how far a positive attitude will take you! Good luck friends, Sam

Jane
Jane

What are people supposed to do? I'm glad this passed, but now how long to wait for a check? I ran out of my benefits a while ago. I can't even get in touch with EDD. In fact, in California, you couldn't even access the job search web site at all to look for jobs there. I was able to do so today. The site states it could be weeks for the system to be up and running and for people to be notified as to whether or not they qualify for the extension. All this screwing around that took place to get this agreed on just makes me ill. I don't mean to sound ungreatful, but let's face it....I already lost my car which was fully paid for, but I couldn't afford the insurance and registration and it's the only thing I had of any value to keep from getting evicted. And I DID get an eviction notice. So now I have no car and no job and my rent was due November 1. I'm looking at ending up on the street with a kid and no car. My ex husband took me to court already to get out of paying child support, and was successful, since he's not raking in money as a real estate agent. He told my son he's on the verge of losing his house too. I got my first work permit at 16. I went to high school and worked and also took college classes at night. I have always worked. None of that seems to matter now. People look at me like I'm crazy for applying for jobs I'm overqualified for. I'm not crazy, just desperate. I'm afraid to tell employers I don't have a car so I'm begging for work knowing full well transportation is going to be an issue. I don't think politicians realize that for some people, there is no way to really recover and pull themselves out of the hole they've been kicked into. How do you recover from losing everything and your credit being ruined at $10/hour, if you're lucky? I don't mean to sound negative, but I have cut back every single thing I possibly can. We freeze because I use no electricity other than to cook, if you can call it that. I got some rice and beans and potatoes and a pack of frozen hot dogs at a food pantry. They have such a high demand for people needing food that there was nothing else to give. I know I'm not alone, and that's the part that makes me angry. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought things would be this bad for me. I have friends who are living in a travel trailer in the back of his employer's business because they lost everything. Thank God he still has a job, but when the wife lost hers, that's where they ended up. And they're borrowing the travel trailer. It's demeaning and I don't think politicians really care. None of them.

mad
mad

and they continue to stall. While they enjoy the weekend with great meals and beautiful homes we starve.

Margo Rose @HRMargo twitter
Margo Rose @HRMargo twitter

After reading the comments, my heart aches. Call me a softie, I care about humanity and its struggle with unemployment. I have a master's degree in Human Resource Development, with more than 15 years experience, and even I am having difficulty securing a position. It seems incredulous that we are even having this debate when Americans are at risk. Kudos to you for bringing this to the world's attention. I have respect for you, and your blog. Thank you.

dww
dww

I know we have been forgotten. The politicians only care about themselves. As long as their bills are paid and they can sit down to their steak or lobster every night, they couldn't care less. I guess they think the 100's of thousands of unemployed persons will never vote again. I have worked for over 40 years. Like a lot of you, I'm too old for welfare and too young for SSI so, I guess like the old movie Logan's Run, we were just supposed to drop dead at 30. Also, why just keep on extending the benefits for a few weeks when all the experts say it will be at least a year before there starts to be any real jobs. It feels like the same stress as a person a death row that keeps getting a last minute reprieve. Just pass it for at least 52 weeks and give us a chance to breathe and find something. This is mental and emotionally abuse of the very people that for generations paid the taxes that line their pockets.

Timothy Carlton
Timothy Carlton

My benefits also ran out in early September which have been devastating to me and my family. After reading the previous posts I feel its important to voice mail opinion as well. After working in the manufacturing sector for decades I found myself laid off with a weeks notice. For over a year I've search fruitlessly, sending out hundreds if not thousands of resumes. The desperation has led me to look for work that pays minimum wage just to keep up with the late fees and penalties on the mortgage. Unfortunately the MBA I worked so hard to earn is actually ruining my chance to become gainfully employed. For the first time in my life, I'm afraid of what the future holds for my family and I. When I was first laid off I was shocked to find that unemployment only offered $362 per week. Now I would do just about anything for that amount of consistent money. ---- Have we been forgotten? It sure seems like it sometimes.

Mark S
Mark S

I would like to see the continuation of the THE FEDERAL COBRA PREMIUM REDUCTION along with the extension of unemployment benefits. I am unemployed and my COBRA premium is $2,200/MONTH FOR A FAMILY. With the 65% reduction my COBRA premium is $805 which is relatively affordable. I AM 59 YRS OLD AND WITHOUT THE REDUCTION, I CANNOT AFFORD MY HEALTH INSURANCE

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

That story is painful to hear. While I've vested less years as a worker bee, I can surely understand your frustration. Let's just hope things turn around sooner than later. Not that I'm a political person, but maybe one reason I'm not so political is because of what you just said. I believe every politician is out for themselves, although there may be a select few that resent that statement. Glad to have you come over to COTJ. The people over at Vertical Media are great. I'm actually running a little contest next week in which the winner will be awarded a Professional Resume Edit done by Vertical Media. Should be fun, and will be easy to participate, just will need to respond to a post on Monday that I write.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Carla - thanks for the comment. I agree, people do need this more than the 8K tax credit, but I guess the government feels that providing a carrot for future homebuyers will prompt them to buy, in turn stimulating the economy. But, I do agree with you. Pass the bill, save americans that have worked hard and also prove they are working there hardest to find new employment. What line of work are you in?

Carla Timminga
Carla Timminga

Watching our government debate whether or not to add amendments to the unemployment benefit extension is ludicrous. Has anyone else been following this? I mean come on..people are literally losing homes because of this ridiculous politicking. We don't care about extending the $8k housing tax or whether the funds come from the $700 billion stimulus package. We are dying out here..pass the damn thing.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Jeff, that is absolutely terrible. I can not believe they asked you to send over $10 grand to them, for their mistake. It really doesn't make sense at all, and you can only hope that the federal DOL gets to the bottom of it quickly. That's just disgusting. Hope it all works out quickly.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Jane - thanks for the comment. The stories that I'm hearing are terrible, and I think they are stories that people need to hear. Apparently, you should be able to start filing immediately. I would check with your state unemployment office and investigate that this week. I wish you the best, and I hope you stop by to let me know when things do turn around!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Thanks for the comment. Understand your anger and I hope things turn around soon.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Margo - so glad we connected, and I thank you for the comment. In your 15 years in HR I'm sure you have seen your fair share of wacky, wild, and tough situations. I've certainly received some pretty tough to hear stories from people. While it is hard to hear, I hope people keep submitting their story so that I can continue to bring attention to the issue. Thanks for the comment, have a great weekend.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

DWW - Thank you for voicing your opinion on the matter. Wouldn't it be nice to KNOW you are financially stable (at least minimally) for a full year? That would surely alleviate some of the mental and emotional stress caused. While it does cause more stress to keep seeing extensions for short periods rather than long periods, the bright side here is that there ARE extensions. Keep as positive as you can, and keep your chin up. Hope you come back soon!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Timmothy - thanks for your comment, and I'm sorry for the unfortunate times you and your family have gone through. Keep confident and strong, it will reflect in your job search. If you'd like, I can do a quick review of your resume. Go to my contacts page, and send it over to my email. Please come back and bring good news WHEN success comes your way. Thanks.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Mark - I agree. While I've been unemployed the the 65% Cobra payment reduction has been a huge help. With political news buzzing about healthcare reform, I hope they do not forget to ease Americans that need health insurance help NOW. Thanks for your comment. What line of work are you in?

Carla Timminga
Carla Timminga

I'm all for housing tax breaks and banning ACORN from additional funding but what does that have to do with the UI extension? These republican politicians are trying to force these unrelated amendments as part of this bill. This is a perfect example of certain politicians personal agendas. Unbelievable. I invested 22 years as an Engineering Manager with a non-union manufacturing plant in Michigan. I paid my dues over the years to earn the weak safety net we call unemployment insurance. I found your site via the guys a Vertical Media.

Dana
Dana

I am glad to hear your oppinion. We are surviving off of unemployment. It is gone as of this week..:(

Homeless & Tired
Homeless & Tired

Since October 1st,2009 I've been homeless. I have two apples, some carrots & a little bit of gas in my tank. I clean myself & my dog in public restrooms. I must say I'm exhausted from having no where to take a nap where it wouldn't offend someone & I worry if the cops, who I've donated money to over the years, would arrest me for loitering or compound my car because I can't afford California licensing renewals or a smog test. I'm exhausted and I feel like a criminal. When my benefits ran out in September, that was the end for me But, I'm actually a wealthy homeless person, I have a car that kept me dry in the rain & I have an old laptop. At one time, I had a thriving business, was nominated Who's Who' in America & worked 18-22 hrs a day 6-7 days a week but know can't find a job.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

H & T - Thanks for sharing the story. Where are you targeting for employment, and what is your job search strategy? If you've heard back from companies, what are they telling you? I do hope things turn around quickly for you. Please feel free to email me directly if you need advice for your job search.

sue
sue

it is very hard to believe some of the things you read but i know, it is all to real and very difficult to be homeless and not have a support system-friends or family-some just do not have that luxury. and for all that stupid things you end up in or experiencing, is nothing but insane and the police will be right on your heals for sitting, having a pepsi, it is like a time for them to play, i'm the cop but you as a person seeing a different side to life, it's like an oppertunity to further insult the situation when police utilize a power to just push you around.it is sad to see the system rotted in such this way. unemployment "oh boy" can they tell stories, it's in the mail--- no mail, it's the postal worker--Post office, it's the unemployment, just maybe it's the easter bunny and he just wanted to hop hop around for alittle bit with that unemployment check. how about you go and get a bachelors degree and sleep at a rest stop, waiting for that easter bunny to give you your check you worked for, what it is , it's disgraceful and if anybody runs into that bunny, tell him i'd like that check now

Homeless & Tired
Homeless & Tired

Well, I have applied for anything that is within a reasonable distance considering the pay. I've applied for holiday retail sales associate jobs , being a clown for kids parties & career orientated jobs. But the bottom line is, there are some great job opportunities out there & many capable applicants who are applying for that same job. I think you need to be one of the top three applications that an interviewer comes across. I've managed departments & had to fill a position but there were so many applications to plow through & that was a few years ago, so I know the number of folks looking for jobs has gone through the roof. Right now, I have only heard replys from sketchy get rich opportunities that disguised themselves as employment situations.But for the most part, I have not had any kind of reply. I am relieved to hear that the unemployment insurance has been extended but I think this has been "Obama's Katrina " I live in a car in California & they have been so slow to get the money where is is greatly needed. Personally I think the state just sits on the interest. I'm so lucky to have the shelter of my car which is tiny, a post office box, showers near the beaches but I gotta tell you, it's exhausting. You have to get up, not be seen by anyone who might get bent out of shape & call the cops on you. So that means that I'm up & going by six am with my dog. There are so so many other people doing the same thing. As I really open my eyes to what is going on there are many more people who are homeless & not your stereo typical homeless person. The numbers are much worse than what they want you to know about & too many people who are on the edge like I was. I've found myself bartering with other homeless, begged for money & doing the same thing to make the time pass by. The other day I was sitting, reading the paper & I saw this other girl who had some bags & my gut told me she was homeless too. Sure enough the cops come over to her & hassle her, my heart started pounding because it could have been me. After they left she came over & asked me a couple of questions & it turns out she was once married but her ex had a gambling problem & lost all the money. She's Japanese & had no family close by. She had also been hit by a car & her right leg was horribly disfigured. She was afraid of it getting infected & I have no idea where she sleeps at night. She was telling me that some of the guys sleep near the dank restroom near the beach. Her name is Sunshine & she needed a place to have a check sent from the insurance company but had no address & I was able to give her my P.O. #. It was really good to help her. When you get to this point, you have no idea of how many stupid situations you get stuck in. The other day, I received a small check but couldn't find a place that would cash it. I was flat broke with a useless check I needed desperately to cash. ( The funds Availability Act is no good any more since the Banks screwed the economy up for the rest of us!!!!) Several days later I crossed paths with Sunshine, she recognized me & gave me some leftover cake & cookies from the farmers market that she got a little work at. She remembered that I had had no food the first time I saw her & was really hungry.