Congress Approves Legislation to Extend Unemployment Benefits

Friday, July 23, 2010

This week, Democrats in Congress broke a Republican filibuster and passed legislation to extend unemployment benefits. 2.5 million unemployed people will get payments retroactive to the time they stopped receiving benefits. One of those is Michelle Ives, who got her last check in June, and has resorted to desperate measures while she waited for her check (including taking out a 35 percent loan on her car).

If you've been waiting for the extension, tell us what this means for your family and life? Put your answer in the comments.

 

Here's the latest update from Michelle Ives before the president signed the bill:

"I ended up having to get a $500 loan at 35 percent interest with my car title so that we could buy groceries and pay the premium for my health insurance. I'm hoping that President Obama gets the extension bill signed ASAP so I can keep my car."

Guests:

Michelle Ives

Produced by:

Noel King

Comments [6]

CJ from Queens, NY

I am unemployed and in a P/T Graduate Program for my MSED in English. I am afraid of what the future holds for me because I hold 3 BAs and this will be my second Masters Degree. I have been on hundreds of interviews and always told I am over qualified or the company feels they would be dumming down my usefulness and therefore stagnating my professional growth if they hire me.
What do I do now?

Oct. 18 2010 05:29 PM
Nina Fuller

I have been unemployed since February of 2009 and had started to receive State Extended Benefits when I they stopped the program on June 2 2010. I have learned they have not approved the extended benefits, but to keep calling in. I'm so tired dont now where my next meal is coming in and dont now when they will recognize the state benefits. I have only received 67 weeks, but that we are allowed up to 88 wees in Colorado. What to do?

Jul. 23 2010 04:31 PM
Diana from East Coast

Although President Obama called on Congress to help unemployed Americans in a dire economy and Ben Bernanke doesn't see the unemployment rate dropping to even 7% anytime some, there many long-term unemployed who have been excluded from this extension. If you lost your job in 2007 at the recognized beginning of the recession you are out of luck. No permanent jobs with living wages and benefits and no further unemployment compensation in the interim, yet we have been paying our share of these funds for years. What part of the math are this administration and Congress incapable of doing?

Jul. 23 2010 03:49 PM
Isabeau from N. Colorado from Loveland, CO

I've also been unemployed since February 1, 2009 and I had just run through my Tier 3 benefits and was waiting desperately for the extension to be approved. Now I have found out the Colorado only allows 86 weeks and even then I am not sure if I will be getting anything. Our Unemployment office has stated those on Tier 1 and 2 will be extended to the end of November but is very vague about whether people who have exhausted Tier 3 even getting any assistance. Colorado's unemployment is going up, I can't find a job and I'm not sure if I will get help. I am so tired of being afraid. I found out last week that House Democrat Betsy Markie from CO voted 3 times against the extension so not even our representatives what to help us. I think the only thing I have left is hope and that is wearing thin.

Jul. 23 2010 02:11 PM
Rich Levesque from south of Boston, MA

After hearing Ms. Ives story this morning, I understand her situation. I've been unemployed since Feb 2009. Being 58 yrs old and having a disabled wife, living on unemployment and digging into my retirement funds in a down economy is distressing at best.
I've sent out more that 500 applications and have had only half a dozen interviews. Being of my age, unable to relocate easily and having had a 6-figure income are all playing against me.
The one near miss I've had was with my former employer. After several interviews and having to travel from Boston to NYC for one of these, I get approval from the people I interviewed with only to get rejected by corporate HR for what I assume is their position of not rehiring former employees which means they would have to admit to having made a mistake.
I am also VERY CONCERNED about being unemployed for so long. This has come up as an issue with several potential employers.

Jul. 23 2010 09:36 AM
Gary from East coast

I pay bills on computer some I leave the last 0 off like if its a 300 dollar bill I pay 30
and when they get it I just say it was in error and I will send right away to buy some extra time....just hope this gets signed quickly.

Jul. 23 2010 09:03 AM

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