Unemployment Benefit Extension Still Possible?

Open Congress reports that an extension of unemployment benefits, which was removed during the process of passing the economic stimulus package, may return to the Senate in the form of a stand-alone bill.

The bill (Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act) could pick up some momentum as it is being sponsored by Senator Kennedy (D-MA) who is always a major player in moving legislation forward.

Some highlights of the proposed legislation per Senator Kennedy’s press release:

  • EXTENDS AND EXPANDS BENEFITS: Provides 20 more weeks of benefits to eligible workers with an additional 13 weeks in states with high unemployment. Benefits would be temporarily increased by $50 per week to help families with skyrocketing energy and food costs. Eligibility for the extension would last for one year.
  • COVERS RECENT EXHAUSTEES: Provides benefits to unemployed workers who exhausted their regular benefits in the year prior to enactment.
  • DOES NOT BURDEN STATES OR EMPLOYERS: Fully funds this temporary program to avoid forcing states to make spending cuts or increase taxes on employers.

Update (6/26): The Senate has passed an extension of unemployment benefits as part of the emergency war supplemental. The bill will now be sent to the President.

Update (11/20): The Senate has passed a further extension of unemployment benefits.

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77 Comments

Filed under Economy

77 responses to “Unemployment Benefit Extension Still Possible?

  1. Sheryl

    Please Senator Kennedy Help us. I live in Michigan , we are in bad shape here. We really need this . Some of us are over 50 and have a real difficult time finding suitable employment . This will give us all a boost until something comes up. Hopefully as the year goes on , the search for jobs will improve. The 50.00 a week increase will definitely help to accommodate the skyrocketing costs . Please do help to get this passed . This will help out much more than the rebates. I hear people complaining that an extension only makes people lazy. Not true, this extension is only temporary, it will help those of us who need the help get by until jobs are found.
    Thanks so much

  2. Shannon

    Please get this going. I have three young children. Lost my job as an Underwriter for a mortgage company that I had worked for for over 10 years. My unemployment runs out next month. There is NO work for me in my state. I have been looking for 7 months. I cannot even get a $10.00 per hour job let alone replace the $35,00 I was making a year. I took advantage of some of the programs available and I am in my second semester of Nursing school… If this does not pass my family and I will more than likely loose our home and vehicles, and end up on Welfare. PLEASE HELP AMERICAN’S better themselves! PLEASE

  3. To all who can help to get this passed and going please do so…. I am a 44 year old male who has worked all my life and have several times been jobless and run out of unemplyment while still unemplyed and it just led to circumstances farther from control including living in the car. It is not easy to lose all your belongings and live in a car without money and the necessary basics things you have in a home like a ironing board a place to hang your interview clothes, a telephone for prospective employers, a shower… Then when you finally land a job you have to go to work each day and return to a car as your home. Thank god I managed to keep the car to live in. It took over a month once I gained employment again.etc. just to get into an empty appt again. You have to pay for daily living which is even higher livng in a car. Save for a security deposit and for the rent. Then the time and money to build the new empty home with the basics takes months more. Now I lost another job and if there is no job offer soon I will be facing losing everything in this new appartment and back to the car and owning nothing. A very viscious circle. Like I say I’ve worked every year of my life since I was 16. I never seem to land a job tat pays more than $12 an hour and struggle working or not. But it really gets hard without even a home. The programs to help get you going again are not what you think either. There is so much red tape and hoops to jump through that to get the help becomes a full time job in itself. For things to set people farther and farther behind does not pay off like it would to keep them on their feet and back in the swing so that we can move on quicker and hold on to what little we still have left. Back to contributing, assets to society, working and paying taxes.

  4. Vicki

    I am 47 years old and have been working, since I was 15. I am a civil engineer technican and have been appling work for two to four a week and have not find a thing, I have been in the field for 25 years and why would someone hire a skilled technician for a clearing job or bus driver when I will leave when the civil jobs start back up. I have bills, mortage and medical bills to pay for, I feel the Bush people have put this county where it is today, this was Bush plan hit the middle class. Help

  5. Rich mMakow

    I feel for you friends. I am in Michigan too. I cannot find a job for over 5 months now. I look everyday. I work in automotive as an Assembly Engineer. You all know how tough automotive is in Michigan:( My unemployment runs out next month and I am so worried I cannot sleep at night…until 4:00 am anyway when I am even too tired to worry about my life…wife…3 children…car insurance…utilites…etc. Sigh…I am sad again. We all need help here in Michigan more than the rest of the nation realizes. Automotive has contracted to a degree so far deeper than many believe. The trickle effect works against us as well. Shopping, entertainment, dining are all starting to feel the impact of the automotive business shrinking so dramatically in Michigan.

    Bless all! Help us please!

  6. Susan

    Please Senator Kennedy, PLEASE get this Bill back into action and move forward to getting this passed. I have only five more weeks of unemployment left. After being discharged from a job back in September 2007 due to lack of work, I have diligently and aggressively been seeking employment. However, the lack of real viable well-paying employment opportunities with benfits in the Cleveland are just not out there.
    Time and money is running out and this is a very scarey place to be.
    I am so very grateful for having this unemployment benefit, but it’s just not enough when our economy and job markets are in such a downward trend. I’m so afraid that if I am not employed before my benefits run out, I will become a [financial] burden on my family just to survive.
    Please Senator Kennedy, PLEASE…Realize just how important it is to get this unemployment extension moving toward a positive vote. I and so many other unemployed individuals are reaching out for help…For your help. Please hear our voices…
    Most Sincerely,
    Susan

  7. Valaida Buckner

    Dear Senator Kennedy:

    Unemployment Extension is crucial for seniors. My unemployment benefits were exhausted the first week in December, 2007.

    While industriously looking, I have not been able to secure another job. Desperately in need of the income unemployment provided me with.

    Praying and looking forward to a positive vote on the unemployment extension

    Sincerely,

    Valaida

  8. Barbara

    Mr. Kennedy, My only income is $816 a month (SS), I lost my job through no fault of my own, my UIB are about to run out. Michigan is in trouble, with jobs. Please get this stand alone bill passed. Thank you.

  9. Barbara Fulmer

    Mr. Kennedy, My only income is $816 a month (SS), I lost my job through no fault of my own, my UIB are about to run out. Michigan is in trouble, with jobs. Please get this stand alone bill passed. Thank you.

  10. sherry

    My husband has been unemployed now for 15 months. The construction industry in Northern Michigan is almost extinct. People own homes and are letting them be foreclosed, leaving this state due to no jobs! No housing market, more homes for sale under resale value then buyers. Michigan needs help, if not from our own Govener then from the Senators! Please help our Governer find what we need and put something into action NOW, it must be done sooner then later.

  11. tammy simpson

    I am a mother of 2 going through a divorce and currently on unemployment…it is about to expire and I have no hope of a job thus far. I have no child supprot coming in because my soon to be ex works under the table and gets away with it…I am about to be hurting really bad… We need you to extend the unemployment package soon!!! America needs help and someone needs to notice and care about our own people. It seems that Bush can’t see past his own nose to notice how bad we are suffering…by the time I do find a job and have to pay the price of gas, health care and day care I probably still won’t have enough to pay bills or buy food for my family…and another house will be forclosed on. HELP!!!

  12. Julieanne

    I’m in the same boat as all the above people placing comments. I am 47 and have was laid off of my job due to lack of work coming in. I have sent out 100 resumes at least and the only people to respond are scammers. Companies get so many resumes that they can’t possibly go through them all and those of us who are qualified don’t even get looked at. I only have 6 weeks left of unemployment. How are we supposed to put gas in our cars to go to interviews (if we can even get one) or pay our gas/electric bills? I am trying to sell my house before it forecloses, but that is unlikely. I don’t want to look for a job out of state because this is where I grew up and where my friends and family are, but will be forced to if something doesn’t change in Michigan. In the meantime, please, please do something to extend our benefits. I have never NOT been able to find a job-until now!

  13. mitchell m

    Its a shame that a state like Michigan with such potential has hit such a bottom in regards mainly to our economy.Its time for a permanant solution to all the struggles this state has suffered.I am soon to exhaust my unemployement benefits and find that jobs are overwelmed with anxious people trying to land a job.Im scared that i will fail to maintain all that i need to financially soon.Please pass this extension bill so that there is hope of securing what we all risk losing[house,cars,food etc.].This is not about a boost for the laxy people.This is about hard-working people in every walk of life trying to survive and make a living.Maybe if more furtunite people could live life in our shoes for a while it would humble them.PLEASE HELP US SOON. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

  14. Suzanne

    I am a college educated woman who worked for Financial Advisors. I have 2 kids and my benefits end in about a month. I have applied for over 100 jobs now and have not had one response. I am downright afraid at this point. Something has to be done. We are not people who have taken advantage of the system, I have never applied for benfits before, am very capable, have applied to sooo many jobs, and have not had one response. I live in New Jersey where the economy is saposed to be good, but something is just Wrong! We are responsible, decent, professional people, and we are losing our livelihood.

  15. Alice

    I have been watching this board for several weeks now. I, like the others, have had trouble finding employment. I have not worked since last June. To one company alone I have submitted over 125 applications. I am a baby boomer and finding the age thing working against me. My unemployment ran out in December. I have had to apply for “help” with my expenses, just to have somewhere to live. I have lost my home and my cars thru out all of this. I cannot believe where this past year has taken me. I have an exhusband who owes me quite a sum of money, but yet he can’t be located?? I was very much watching the stimulus pkg and the debates on it. I would much rather have had my unemployment extended so that I can afford to keep a roof over my head than to have 600.00. It will simply be down the drain at this point. There are many many of us who are sitting in the pot right now and the future looks pretty grim. I ask you for so many of us, please help us and the sooner the better. The American life is at stake.

  16. Cindy

    I, too, have exhausted my unemployment benefits in mid February of this year. I received benefits (for the quickest 30 weeks of my life) and searched high and low for employment with my experience. I have many skills in all different areas, however, I’m noticing the key candidates being sought out for are the “fresh out of college” grads. I’m at my wits end. I just had my divorce trial this past January and my ex owns and operates a “cash” business and impossible to put a dollar figure on his true income. So in a nut shell, my two children and I are screwed. This was my first time to ever collect unemployment after having a solid working record for 24 years straight. I live in Massachusetts and I’ve been told the unemployment rate is too low to grant any extensions. I find this very hard to believe, as I know many families in the same boat I’m in. There are NO jobs that pay even 1/2 of what I was making at my previous job, thus the incentive for Employers to grab the newly college grads. My children and I will soon be homeless, as our home is in foreclosure. I don’t even know where to turn for help. I’ve worked all my life and have helped out so many people in their times in need. It’s just devastating that the small amount I was receiving from unemployment just ended and everyone I know, is facing similiar situations. It’s killing me to realize how I will soon be left with no choice but to give up my children to their father. Everything is happening all at once and it’s heartwrenching. I’m so tired of being told everything will get better. It’s been 3 years now and when I thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse, sure enough they do! I’m at the point now that I wouldn’t even know where to begin to put the pieces back together. It blows my mind that unemployment extensions didn’t get pushed through with this stimulus package. This should have been one of their top priorities. There are too many people that are still jobless and soon to be homeless due to the market crash and stuck with unrealistic mortgage payments. These are good people who worked HARD all their life to establish themselves and give to others what they could. Then in a split second the tables turn for the worst and panic and devastation sets in brings our spirits to a low point. The only productive way to guarantee strengthening our economy is by throwing a bone to all situations affecting EVERYONE. There is absolutely nothing positive in picking and choosing only certain areas with the assumption we can all build our economy back up. It’s pure destruction to say the least. All the issues happening across the board, NEED to be addressed ALL ACROSS THE BOARD. Afterall, we live in the “United” States and it has to be a team effort to get us out of the slump we’re in.

  17. Please let this extension go through. I only have one week left on my unemployment. I have sent out hundreds of resumes and do not here back from anyone of them. I was laid off twice last year and lost my medical benefits in June. It is really scary being with out benefits and not being able to find a job. I am about to lose everything. I can’t afford to go to school. How will I be able to put gas in my car to get to jobs with out having help? It is really said that we live in America and can’t even get help when it is needed. The future looks pretty grim right now. Please help us and the sooner the better.

  18. Cass

    60 years old & benefits ran out (26 weeks) mid january. 9 months unemployed,health benefits for sick wife and myself expired. Need the extension to get by during continued job search. Never thought this would be my situation in life but here I am.I will remain optimistic and confident that all will work out well but need the help for now.

    LIFELONG MICHIGAN RESIDENT

  19. Patty

    We are another family suffering for employment in Michigan. My husbands job was transported to Mexico so the entire plant here closed! This is a shame. His unemployment benefits are about to expire, We have gone above and beyond to try to find him employment. I have a bachelor degree in Elementary education and can’t begin to find work here. I am within weeks from graduating in dental hygiene and hear that it is also very tough to find employment.
    We simply ask for anyones help in passing the temporary extension in Michigan’s unemployment to give the opportunity to maintain what we have and FIND WORK!! Hopefully, this would give enough time for the economy to improve.
    Thank you for your time.

  20. Mary

    I am another graying American whose benefits ran out last month. Out of work since Oct 07 and have sent hundreds of resume’s out to prospective employers. My husband is a contractor and is forced to drive 65 miles one way to work. His job is less than secure and could be cut w/o notice at any time. This amounts to around a 200.00 gas bill per week. No health benefits, no vacation, no retirement. My son requires daily medication and we pay for it out of pocket. How in the world can this country continue to survive and grow when so many of us are faced with the same situation? We send billions of dollars to other countries for war and aid, but who helps us? Not the government whom we are supposed to pledge our allegiance to. It’s time we as a country step up and take care of our own. No more aid, no more war funding. Let the other countries do for themselves. We have simply become their crutch. They have no motivation to help themselves or change. I assure you that I’m one of many who feel this way. Please see that this bill gets passed – it’s the right thing to do for America.

  21. Pat

    Unemployed graying Americans are becoming more & more common – not what we planned for. We all need this extension and then a job that pays $7.00 per hour until we can collect social security, medicare and all the other programs that we have paid for all our lives! If they are still there……………..!

  22. Carolyn

    Another 50 year old, out of work since September 2007. The only way I can make it is to change careers. I’ve reached the limit on my old career as far as my education goes. I signed up for business school with the hopes of getting a certificate in a totally new field of employment. The only way I can do this and pay my bills is to have my unemployment extended. I received my last check this past week. I’ve been working since the age of 13 and have never collected unemployment or any other benefits of the state. I’m the first ever in my family to have this happen. I will be attending school for one year and immediately going to work. Please help all of us. I would be forever grateful

  23. I’m in my mid 40’s and lost my job in September, sending hundreds of resumes out in Illinois. Unemployment will run out in one week and we have never had to go the ER so much as when my insurance ran out. COBRA does no good when you cant afford it. Home is in preforclosure and two vehicles are desperate for repairs that will cost $300.00. We have to pick and choose meds, foods, utilities and all basics constantly for a family of five. I am too skilled for lower paying jobs in our area, they don’t want to hire an employee who won’t stay when the market opens up. Competition for my position is huge with HR managers receiving hungreds of resumes for just one position. I will be working on getting assistance for food stamps and any program available to help us in the meantime. I have never had to this in my life. Even with assistance I don’t think we will be able to hold onto our home and belongings for much longer without an extension to unemployment benefits. This is not about anyone being lazy, it is about the economy. Homes do not sell in our area now when the norm was a one month or shorter listing.
    Not extending benefits will continue to hurt us all and continue a downhill spiral with no way out. I cannot fathom why this was not approved. HELP US, PLEASE!!!!!!!!

  24. Dan

    Please help… My wife and I are both 43 and we are both out of our jobs and on unemployment benefits unfortunately. My wife worked 12 years in a union bakery before being laid off and I was a warehouse manager when my company moved out of state. We have already lost our home and live in an apartment with our two children. I never thought my families life could get this bad. I feel helpless. At least an extension would buy us a little time for a miracle. Thank you. God bless us all during this tough time.

  25. Jacqueline

    Another 38 year old looking for work for over 6 months in Los Angeles. I cannot pay my rent, car bill, car insurance and/or cell/internet phone bills next month. Ive been borrowing from friends and family but that can only go so far. Why the hell has an unemployment extension been enacted by this time?

    Everywhere I go there are 100 other ppl more going after the same position I am. I’m desperate.

    • Maria

      I agree 100% all these big wigs in Washington sit back and dangle this extension in our faces while they cash their checks every week and stuff money in their pockets. My unemployment ran out on 10/5 and now I am sitting here with bills and no money and no income of anytime while they sit here and decide where the money comes from. Give me a god damn break and pass this bill already so people can pay to live. All states should be able to get the extension. They pick a number like 8.5 and people with 8.1 and 8.3 can’t get it that is unheard of. PLEAS PASS EXTENSION SO WE CAN EAT AND LIVE LIKE YOUR ARE!!!!!

  26. Vickie

    I have been unemployed since Oct of 2007 and have put out about 200 applications and have been on three interviews and have not been hired yet, I am 53 yrs old and it gets harder to get jobs and even tougher when there are 200 people all applying for the same position and also younger, my unemployment runs out the end of April and if congress does not pass the extension of unemployment I will be homeless. So please pass the extension of unemployment for all of us out there suffering and wondering where we will live and how we will eat.

  27. Barbara

    Dear Senator Kennedy,

    It is essential for many of us that the unemployment extensions be granted. My career has been in the banking industry. As a mid-level manager I have over 20 years experience, but have only secured a few interviews with some employers only looking to build their job pools. Daily I search the job boards and have applied to work in other areas as well. My benefits were exhasted two months ago, I have depleted my 401K and will likely begin borrowing from a home equity to pay my mortgage obligation.
    Our unemployment figures are inaccurate as they do not reflect those of us who are have exhausted benefits. It would be interesting to know what the true percentages were if we were all accounted for.
    Please pass this message onto your colleques as I am the voice of Middle America.

  28. Sara

    Please visit this website to get the latest on this bill and follow reader blogs with info. If gives links on who to write / email / fax and who voted on this bill.

    http://www.opencongress.org/

  29. dawn

    Dear Senator Kennedy, Please help us here in Michigan. I worked for 25 years taking only 3 days off during that entire time. My employer retired and closed the doors. I am 60 years old and although I think I have alot to offer an employer, I have gotten no response to the many, many applications I have answered. My unemployment ran out in November of 2006 so this time limit that you are considering really does not help those who have been without work for a longer period. My husband has taken a 50% decrease in his salary but at his age, 62, what are the chances of him finding another position. I do believe age is a factor even though it is not required on the application, the years of work and dates can easily show your age. Please help our state, we are the worst in the union at this time. Too many of our jobs have gone overseas and other countries. I feel these employers should be forced to pay additional monies for taxes for taking away our jobs or at least pay the people they are now employing a fair good wage. To me its nothing but greed. Please help.

  30. peter

    I am 57.
    I have worked for 39 years.
    Unemployed rarely.
    A Vietnam erea veteran,that was on unemployment for 2-weeks after the Vietnam war.
    I am old and grey.
    Have been appling for jobs the past 20 weeks by sending out at least one resume a day to any and all types of industries across the United States.
    Have only had “TWO” interviews.
    I have a very good if not excellent work history ,accomplishments and steady output.
    It does seem that if a person was born before or was alive during the ’60’s that becomes an automatic placement in the “NO” pile.
    I have parents to go home to obviously as they where born over a hundred years ago and being and are no longer living and never had anything to leave me when thay passed on.
    Every other house on the street that I reside on is empty.
    Two other men on this street are also unemployed gentlemen in their mid to late 50’s.
    The State in which I live will not extend to me any re-training.
    Things are NOT good.

  31. Debbie Williams

    This is getting really stupid, don’t ya think? Pass the extensions before we all starve to death.

  32. Debbie Williams

    I see people writting way back in February whom were loosing their benefits then. Any of you still alive? We can write all we want but unless something is done immediately to help us, we might just not be here when the extensions do finally pass through this unbelievable process. By the way I am going to be 55 also.

  33. Kevin

    I can’t believe the mindset of our government. They don’t know what it is like to lose your job, lose your possessions and then lose unemployment benefits after you sent 100’s of resumes and cover letters out to everyone within a few hundred miles.

    This social darwinism belief that the strong survive and the weak are too lazy or stupid to get a job to survive really disgusts me. If it weren’t for my wife I would have to move in with relatives or friends until I got my life back in order…and to think that some people don’t have that luxury and end up out on the street in one of the richest countries in the world while the rich tell them they are too lazy, really says a lot about our culture and government. Gee, we wonder why every other country in the world hates us.

  34. phyllis

    This is my first experience with being unemployed. I am 63, a widow with two children to support. My COBRA for health insurance is $1,100 per month which is about the same as my mortgage which I cannot refinance because I am now umemployed.
    I have a two masters degrees (MBA finance and MA in politics) and one teen in freshman year of college. I had a couple of nibbles for jobs but employers are cautious. Maybe Walmart or McDonalds will be in the cards. I have worked since 1968 with one year off for an MBA. What should I retrain for?

  35. Cindy

    In reply to Phyliss…I’ve actually applied to Walmart & Stop & Shop (NOT McDonalds-maybe I should?) and have been turned down for being “over qualified”. Hey, at this point, a pay check is a pay check and I don’t care how I make it. I’d mop floors at this point. BUT, there is no way any lower paying company would hire any employee that just “might” have more knowledge than the head Supervisor. It’s a no win situation and unfortunately any extention for unemployment benefits is too late for salvation. The ironic part is; the State will in turn have no choice but to eventually pick up the pieces of the mess they could have prevented on some level. Gasoline is already eating away every working citizens paycheck, and now the cost to put food on our families table is affected. This HAS to end or we’re all going to be classified as the Cyclone disaster, that the US is unable to help! SERIOUSLY!

  36. The City of Newark had a city wide downsizing which laid me off November 16, 2007. I have one more unemployment check to collect. My resume goes out on the average 12 times a week. I am a 55.5 year old female. No person is hiring 55 year old women at this time. I am over qualified for Dunkin Donuts. I have no health insurance and I have fibroids that need to be removed. Being a legal secretary for some part of my professional career, I know what happens to people who have medical debt. They go Bankrupt and no one cares if they need their car, house or not. The creditors will steal the poor recovering person blind and I do not want that. So, I cannot have my operation. We live in the United States of America and THIS is going on? What am I suppose to do?

  37. I am of the opinion that Michigan is a sinking ship, and NO ONE has been able (or willing) to lift the anchor. I have worked for this State since I was 13 years old, and they tell me I am only entitled to 26 weeks of un-employment. How do you figure that? I’ve worked here for 32 years. I have been un-employed since August, 2007. I collected the full 26 weeks of un-employment, while diligently looking for another job (with no luck) I “exhausted” my benefits in March, as MARVIN so eloquently put it. I have a cleaning job that I do every other week for $80.00. With gas prices sky rocketing, food prices sky-rocketing, etc., I soon will probably be on the streets. I have NEVER believed that I would have ended up a street person. I’ve exhausted all avenues of the people that can help me. Most of my family are in the same position I’ve found myself in. With the help of a friends computer, I am able to enter this comment. I’m thankful and blessed that I have people in my life that have been and are willing to help me out at this stage of my life. A lot of people have no one that can count on. My youngest sister lives in Texas, and she says jobs are plenty there. People are leaving this state in droves – I thought about leaving myself, but how can I get where I want to go when my only income is $80.00 every other week cleaning someone’s house? I really do not want to leave Michigan, especially with an elderly mother whose health is failing, but I feel I won’t have a choice. MICHIGAN NEEDS YOUR HELP!!! BRING BACK THE EXTENSIONS – They said extensions are possible when we hit the 5% range of un-employment. They must be joking! Michigan met that rate a LONG time ago. They are only counting the people that are receiving benefits. They have not considered the people who received benefits and “exhausted” them. Remember the 80’s? – “Last one out, turn out the lights.”

  38. Mary

    Just speaking for myself I am 48 years old and have been working all my life. I have sent out over 80 resumes over these months I have been on unemployment. That is not even counting the resumes that I filled out on line. In two weeks I lose my unemployment benefits. I am so very depressed and sick that there is no extension. What are we going to do? At my last job I made decent money with benefits. I know that I will never make what I made in a new job. The only thing keeping me half way afloat is my unemployment benefits and calling creditors to work out smaller payment plans so that my family and myself could afford food, gas etc. When the 2 weeks is up I will be receiving nothing, just like thousands of others who are on unemployment and looking for a job. Please, Please help us. This is truly one of the most scariest times I have ever had in my life. The anxiety from this is becoming unbearable.

  39. dan

    We live in a country that doesn’t care about working or middle class people. The time has come for us to march on Washington.

  40. dan

    If you can’t be sent to fight a war for the rich you are of no use to them.

  41. Ben

    My last check comes next week and I am 45 years old. I cannot find a job. What the Hell am I and other people in this situation going to do. There is practically no jobs out there. We need that extension now to give us more time to find jobs. Why is it taking so long to pass this bill when all these peoples extensions are or have run out. The people are begging for help. Please we need the extension NOW.

  42. Kim

    I lost my job in 2006. I have been working temp jobs of f and on since 2007. My unemployment ran out in Feburary 2008. I have not been able to find a job. Why is it taking so long to pass a this extension bill. I have bills and need
    money for gas to look for work and by food. We the people should not have to beg for help. Please Pass this Extension Bill Immediately.

  43. TIM

    The bill passed house yesterday and is going to senate (which I believe is mostly Democrats.) It looks like this has a good chance so long as George W.B. II doesn’t veto it.

  44. Jan

    I’m thinking it’s about time the government does something about the unemployed in Michigan I worked as an office manager for Real Estate in Michigan for 12 Years. I was laid off in Nov of 2007 due to lack of work. Everyone knows where Real Estate is going in Michigan. So many people have lost their homes due to out sorceing. When is this going to stop. I am a middle class person, my husband lost his job a few years ago in the industrial business due to his job going overseas. We have to pay almost $1,600 every 2 months for health care which we cannot afford but need to have insurance. He is now collecting SS and I will be getting mine also, but it is not nearly enough to survive on. With an extension of unemplyment it would help a little. As you know jobs are so hard to find in Michgan no matter what your career. Please Help by passing the bill. If we don’t get the republicans out of there I believe the U.S. is heading for a real disaster.

  45. Erik

    I am 30 years old and have worked steadily for the past 16 years. I am unemployed for the first time in my life due to automotive industry going down to Mexico for cheaper labor. My unemployment just ran out and I still can’t find a job even at Walmart( interview… no call back). I am fortunate my parents let me move back in with them, but soon I won’t even be able to put gas in my car to go look for a job. PLEASE HELP US ALL!!!! This is supposed to be the “land of opportunity” right?

  46. Robert O. Birt

    Dear Sirs:
    Ohio; I am 45 yrs. old and a veteran, 4 children, married 13 yrs. I have a successful employment record of 28 years as a respected tradesman. My company downsized and I got the AX. My benefits run out in two weeks. We are loosing the fight for our home and have no place to go. We do not live above our means, however the 87 resume’s and applications still go unansward. My house wife has begun to sew patches on our childrens cloths. PLEASE push this bill through by June 1st. or the Sherrif will throw us into the street and all our hard work for 20 yrs. will be lost. And our credit rating will fall off the map.
    Sincerely yours, A desperate Father and Husband.
    P.S. Are there any Janitorial jobs at your office building?

  47. Theresa

    HELP!! I live in Michigan,have exhausted my benefits, been evicted and am now living with my son. The only help available here for me is FIA for food and state insurance. If something doesn’t break soon there will be ALOT of us living on the streets. Please help get myself and soooo many others like me, our EXTENSIONS!!

  48. Mary

    Please, please approve the bill for extension of employment benefits. Cannot find a job. I’m on my last check. Oh please God help us!!! I have a family and home and am scarded to death of what could happen. Please we need more time to find jobs . Please, we are begging you to pass a bill for unemployment extension now….

  49. Maria

    All I can say is SIGN THE BILL FOR EXTENSIONS NOW, WE ALL NEED HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. dan

    WELL TODAY IS THE DEADLINE FOR THE FINAL VOTE ON THE BILL. IF NOT VOTED THEN WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL AFTER MEMORIAL DAY. WE CAN NO LONGER WAIT. I AM GOING TO LOSE EVERYTHING I HAVE WORKED FOR. I CANNOT KEEP PUT BILL COLLECTORS OFF. ME AND THOUSANDS OF OTHERS NEED MORE TIME TO FIND A DECENT JOB. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE PASS THIS BILL TODAY.

  51. David Kaufmann

    I’ve been a head Painter / bodyman for 30+ year I was let go because we got new owner , the owner thought they could save money by letting me go I’ve been out of work since November and my unemployment just ran out and no job openings anywhere . I have put my application in everywhere and my resume’ is on every site poss. and nothing , I would really like to get an extension so I can continue to live and pay my bills and my house payment by the way the new owner also let me go because of my age , I’m highly experienced but he thought he could pay 3 or 4 for what he paid me .. please allow the extensions I’m begging … Thank you very much

  52. Melanie

    I am a 32 year old single mother of 4 children. I lost my job back in August of last year. I went from making $45K per year to less than half of that on unemployment; which is going to run out next week. I have looked everywhere for a job but have not been able to do so. I have applied for Public Aid but for some reason they seem to think that I am not qualified. Not only am I unemployed but I have an ex-husband that is now living out of state and owes over $40K in back child support ALONE! That does not include what has been paid in child care and medical expenses. And there is not anyone out there to help with that. I have lost my home and now living with my parents, who are also about to loose everything. My father is self-employed, if you can even call it that anymore because there are no jobs for him due to the economy. The sate of Illinois will not help them either because he has a home. It makes you question as to what this country is coming to when we can send Billions……. BILLIONS of dollars over seas to help other countries rebuild when our own country is falling. I am not one that knows a lot of politics but if someone could please help me understand this. I thought that our Government was here to help “their people?” Well now I challange you to do so.
    This country has had people that have worked hard, paid their taxes to put into all of the programs out there to help when needed. Yet it seems to me that even though we have paid into our Government we are not entitled to the help because either we made too much money the year before or do not yet fit the guide lines of poverty to receive the help. Then what are we paying taxes for? We need help and we need it NOW! Please, some one out there has got to care what is happening to the people in this country.

  53. Shawn

    All I can say is please help your own country…listen to your own people begging for help and I am one. Last check will be here next week and I have a wife and 2 young children…what am I and people like me suppose to do? I to have worked all my life and was recently laid off…no one even told me about the 26 weeks when you work as long as I have you just think that your government will be there to help you. Please pass this bill….listen and hear your people!!! They tell you to go get on welfare and it’s just not right….give us our money…we have worked for it!

  54. Brenda

    Please think about the families involved in this. My husband has worked his entire life. He is NOT lazy, just unemployed at the moment and he is 47. Trying to find a job in Michigan’s job market is super hard ! My husband has 4 weeks left of unemployment. I seriously do not know what we are going to do after his unemployment is gone. We have two boys that will suffer right along with us. With food and gas prices as they are we are already hurting! We are not asking for charity, just a helping hand until my husband has a job again and that won’t be long, but the extension will give him the added time he needs.
    PLEASE LISTEN AND PASS THIS BILL!!!!!

  55. Wanda

    help us all we need this extension NOW husband got last check last week dont know what we will do probably lose home? little food in house keep our money here in USA stop sending it overseas i live in michigan also LET US ALL SEND EMAILS TO WHITE HOUSE EVERY HOUR ON THE HOUR MAYBE THEN BUSH WILL LISTEN!

  56. LINDA

    I’ve been laid off since October of last year and have been unable to find work here in Michigan. I have one more unemployment check left. If I don’t find a job or receive some help I’ll lose my home soon which I’m currently renting with my 15 year old son. Unemployment is all I receive and I don’t get any child support. I don’t want me and my son to become homeless. PLEASE PASS THIS BILL FOR AN EXTENSION.

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!

  57. TOM

    WELL, I GUESS THAT’S IT. I JUST READ THAT 13 DEMOCRATS IN THE HOUSE ARE GOING TO AX THE UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION PART OF THE BILL TO PAY FOR THE WAR IN IRAQ. I CAN’T FIND A JOB,NO MORE UNEMPLOYMENT CHECKS COMING IN, CAN’T PAY BILLS SUCH AS MORTGAGE, CAR LOANS ETC. I AM 50 YEARS OLD AND WILL LOSE EVERYTHING I WORKED ALL MY LIFE FOR JUST LIKE THOUSANDS OF OTHERS IN MY SHOES. DON’T KNOW WHAT MY FAMILY AND MYSELF ARE GOING TO DO. I THOUGHT I WAS SCARED BEFORE BUT NOW I AM DEPRESSED, SCARED AND FEEL HOPELESS. WHY WON’T OUR COUNTRY HELP US? IT’S OVER……

  58. Mack

    I too am a 40 something Male, who has worked all his life in michigan, except for my 6 years serving in the US Navy.
    Since 2000, Michigans economy has gone steadly down hill. I am again laid off for the 3rd time in 5 years. We need unemployment benifits as well as an increase in benifits! The current maximum does not pay enough to survive on. Im talking paying basic rent, utilites and a proper food budget! I drive an older car, and if it breaks down, I get behind in my rent then the late fees and court costs (they file on you here if you are more than 1 week late) are eating me alive. I cannot afford to move. Ive been trying to find work out of state, but on this budget, I can’t even afford to go all over the country to go to interviews in a state that is several states away (like texas) where the economy is better.

    We need HELP! Please Mr. Kennedy, Get that unemployment extention PASSED!

  59. Mack

    One more thing. I see so many productive American tax payers about to loose everything, and many that already have, because the social safty net that we spent our lives paying for, isn’t there for us when we need it.

    If that is going to be the case, then maybe the american taxpayers need to stop funding this government that is no longer tending to their needs.

    Ive already been homeless once, I do not want to experiance that again. It took me 3 years to recover from that this last time.

    God help us all, if our own government won’t help its own citizens while it spends 1 billon dollars every 8 hours.

  60. I am 57 soon to be 58 year old female, and worked for the government (Social Security) I was let go in February, and have been looking with no luck yet. I feel we pay into unemployment and that money should be set aside for just that, there should be enough money for benefits to be extended. Some people are paying into unemployment and not drawing that money so the States or Federal government should have some money for extended benefits.

    Mary Hammond
    mehammond1@sbcglobal.net

  61. Martin DeFouw

    We need unemployment estentions now no jobs.

  62. Jake

    I was fired in October, 2007, for refusing to commit fraud for my Company and keep my job. The strangest part is I worked for a University of California Campus! I received unemployment for six months, it ended in early April, 2008. The State agreed that I should have not been fired. But after eight months of being unemployed I am now applying for Driver and CARMAX buyer positions that pay 1/3 or less than I used to earn. I am 53 and have worked full time since I was 13. If I don’t get some extra unemployment, my only option is to move home with my elderly Parents and take care of them. An extension of my unemployment benefits would helpgive me a ew more months to find a job. I live in Orange County, California where 1 in 3 workers are unemployed. Because I held such a high level management position I cannot find anyone who will hire me at a lower level in my field of Architecture and all of my Licensed Architect friends can’t find work either. I have flown to Tupelo, Mississippi, San Francisco, and driven to Arizona looking for a job. I have sent applications to more than 5 States, so far. Please extend the benefits and help out those of us that are too qualified to get leser jobs. Like someone above said, “No one will hireme for lesser jobs because they know as soon as the economy turns around, I’ll leave to go back to what I have a degree in.” I have started selling off everything I have to try to pay my rent. Please convince Bush that if we can afford another 600 billion for Iraq then we can afford 60 billion for our own people!

  63. Jason

    If we Americans can spend Billions on a War over sea’s, then our government should provide the benefits needed to help the citizens back home who are paying for the War from our Taxes.

  64. Ckaye

    It passed yesterday! It isn’t all we would like it to be, but those that worked over 20 weeks will be able to get the 12 weeks, I think it was. Those states that have the 6.5 and up unemployment figures are not going to be able to get any more than those weeks, thanks to Bush and that sob Boehner, may they both rot in hell.

    Oh, but they made sure to get their war money and no deadline on getting out of Iraq is still intact. I know the Dems did what they could, we the GI bill too, so that’s all right. We just have to get these neocon/Contract On America people out of office!

  65. Wendy

    I am 30 with three children…though I am married and have a husband who has an income…I was making a great income at a hospital in Detroit Michigan, until I was forced to leave my job due to my pregnancy, I was told that I should have better planned my pregnancy and was fired when I called in sick cause I almost lost the baby….my unemployment was approved by the state…though through my entire pregnancy I was looking for work, our baby is 3 months old and I still cannot find work…I have literally applied to over 200 jobs, and its not that I am not qualified…If anything over qualified….I am looking to take any job….with almost losing our home do to the taxes in our city going up( and the loss of equity we are taking due to forclosures my home appraises for 100k less than it did a year and half ago), the fuel increase, I don’t leave the house at all cause we cannot afford to put gas into our vehicles. I only shop for whats on sale, even plan doctors appointments for my children when I can do it all in one day, staying home almost everyday otherwise…

    Our family and several other families are without work, having a degree or a specialty license doesnt even secure you into a job, it doesnt even matter what college I attended, a degree these days does not pay the bills…People in Michigan cannot even enjoy life and are literally ending life in itself…we are losing…losing everything…what happens when we lose our home? What do I tell our children? We cannot even afford food anymore…

    Please help our families survive….we are losing…and its not that we are lazy people…I do want a job, but I cannot even get a job at the local KMart or Target…and after fuel cost can I even afford a job? I have a degree and looking for a job, I want a job, though I feel like a failure I paste my resume all over the internet day and night…but all I can do is ask for help from the Government…please extend the unemployment…I need to feed our children and keep a roof over our heads…please pass this bill…America, The United States is where everyone wants to come….For what? There are no jobs here….we are failing…Canada is looking like a great place to live…PLEASE HELP!!!!

  66. dave

    did the bill pass or not?? We need the money or we lose our house.. What are we to do? I have continued to apply for jobs and I do not get a call.. or I’m too qualified.. I even sent applications to Lowe and Home depot to work in the store but no call. I was in management for 32 years. I’m positvie my age is a factor in the decisions… Please congress and senate and White house .. work together and SHOW THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THE RESPECT THAT WE DESERVE.

  67. Kathi Fletcher

    I am over 55 and have had a disability since I was 45. The workforce in this country has switched to using temp personnel services. If a company hires you today and sales drop off tomorrow, they can simply lay you off or just drop the contract. I didn’t ask for this. I did not plan for this to be my life. When I couldn’t walk, I entered online classes and now I build web sites and databases for companies. I need to work a permanent job until I am ready to retire. What is so hard about that? In the meantime I need the temporary unemployment until I can find that job that I can do.

  68. I am 58 years old woman and I have a daughter age 16, that is still in High School, and I have been unemployed for over a year. I am a nurse (L.P.N.) and have been looking so hard and applying to everything that I feel and know that I am qualified for, but I still don’t have a job. My unemployment has ran out, and I still have a house payment and other bills that I have to meet, plus take care of my family.
    My husband and the father of my children is in prison for life, so you see there is no help coming from that direction. I don’t know if the situation called “black balled ” is true or not, but in the small town I live in and the things that go on here, I can’t doubt it. I am trusting God that through our Government, that the low income people and people that are in a bad situation won’t be forsaken. That the Government realize that everythig that happen to people is not necessarily their fought. After 5 years on my job, I finally ran into a supervisor that there was no getting alone with and yes I lost my job, but my unemployment was approved by the state, and I ave been looking for a job every since, there is no blemish or anything foul against my record as a nurse. So until economy gets better and jobs open up to people, I am asking the Government to carry the people, like the people have stood by our country. I don’t want to loose what little I have, and I know no one does, I have worked faithfully, hard and long, by the law to get what I have gotten. I need to feed my children and keep a roof over our heads… My son is grown graduated from college with Honors, Ku-la-Da in Political Science and he has not been able to fine a job. Please help my family to survive….we are losing…and its not that we are lazy people…we want to work. If the Government can cotinue to help the banks and market street util they can get on their feet, surely it can help the people until the United States is up and running. We know there were 2 Stimulus for the unemployed, and then left it in the hands of the State Government to take care of their people, but guess what? They still don’t care about the people more that having a good fight with the opposite government parties and therfore the people are still suffer at the hands of the enemy, our govenor in Georgia don’t care about us The Little People. So Help Us.

  69. pj

    I lost my job when I was 60 years old. When my regular unemployment was over there were no extentions for 4 months. I lost my home and everything I worked for.. I am now 62 still have not been able to find work. I was in the pay range of $44,000 to $50,000. I did try 2 other states were I had some family. No luck. My ss would pay me less than half of what I received for unemployment. I could not get any help as I had no children at home or was not a senior. My last extension just ran out and I expect to be homeless if something is not done to help soon.

  70. Chris

    Dear Sir.

    My name is chris. I’m 27 and in need of help just like these kink people above. You see sir i was born with a bad heat that does not work on it’s own. I am only alive because of an ICD Pacemaker implant. I have had many strugels thus far just to live. I have always worked and did all i can give to my community. I graduated high school and become a firefighter than later got let go because of my heart problem. I worked in the It area of work as a field service Tech for Dish Net work. I lost my job as manny have and have had the hardest time ever finding work. And as you can imagion i am verry limited to the type of work i can do. Im on my fist Unimployment ext. And about out and i have no idea if there is a second one? Or what to do if i dont get one. I will be forced to live in the streets. With out my heart meds that i need to help stay alive. What can i do Sir to stay alive? Please help me!!

  71. This country help illegals more than they help law abiding tax paying citizens.

  72. why are we taking care of other countrys when we need help i have been off work sense janurary 2009 and allso last my husband to lung cancer 4 months later i have looked for a job they are just not hiring people over 40 now with the income of my husband gone and me living on employment they tell me i will lose them at the end of june what would i do i don’t want to lose my house i’m very worryed and don’t know i’m going to do and i am not lazy i love to work i would love to earn my own money but now i’m worryed about what i will do to myself if i loss my house let me tell you depression is not a good thing 2009 my job close lost my husband after 30 and can’t find a job nobody hiring you after the age of 35-40 so PLEASE EXTENT BEFITS BEFORE A LOT OF PEOPLE DO STUPID THING BECAUSE THEY ARE LOSING EVERYTHING PLEASE.

  73. ninamarie

    Hi, My last payment with unempolyment was in 2008 I’m working part time going back to college with a bad cast of adhd with panic attacks, is their any way I can get pick up unemployment again, or get any other assessist until I’m done with college and get a job.

  74. ninamarie

    Hi, My last payment with unempolyment was in 2008 I’m working part time going back to college with a bad cast of adhd with panic attacks, is their any way I can pick up unemployment again, or get any other assessist until I’m done with college and get a job.

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