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Alison Doyle

Unemployment Cutbacks

By November 2, 2012

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It's a tough time to be unemployed.  Unemployment is still high, competition is fierce for every available job, and job searching is difficult, regardless of how qualified you are.  To add insult to injury, federal extended unemployment benefits will expire at the end of the year unless legislation is passed that provides an unemployment extension.

The maximum number of weeks has gradually been reduced to eliminate all federal extended benefit programs as of December, 2012.  Here's a summary of the changes and information on the unemployment compensation programs that will be in place for 2013:

If you're unemployed, it's important to check your state unemployment website so you know what to expect regarding your unemployment compensation.  You don't want an unpleasant surprise and find out at the last minute that you have no more weeks left on your claim.

Unemployed? Check the Status of Your Benefits
If you're not sure what about where you stand with unemployment, check your state unemployment office website for details of how these changes may impact your unemployment compensation.

Share Your Unemployment Story
Unemployed? Share your personal unemployment story and tell us about the job you lost, what it has been like being unemployed, and what you might have learned while you're out of work. Read, as well, about others who are unemployed and what life has been like for them. Your story will help others deal with being out of work, and all the issues that go along with being unemployed.

Related: Unemployment Benefits | Unemployment Extension | How to File for Unemployment | What To Do When Unemployment Runs Out

August 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm
(1) Doris Appelbaum says:

If the government would spend more money monitoring fraud in the system, they would have more money to give to the legitimate applicants. To make matters worse, some companies have claimed that they will not hire the unemployed. Is this legal? I doubt it.

August 25, 2011 at 9:22 pm
(2) ScoobieDu says:

Who said they would not hire the unemployed and for what reason?

August 15, 2011 at 7:24 pm
(3) Alayn says:

You damn right about that, they should spend more money helping and training the people than monotiring every god dman thing unemployment recieiver do and received.. Help the poor and those who are deep in need.

August 26, 2011 at 11:59 am
(4) Jeff says:

Should extend it for students that can prove they have been in college for at least 1 semester previous to date passed by congress.

September 18, 2011 at 8:11 pm
(5) William says:

It’s unfortunate that those things proven to have the greatest effect on reducing unemployment, such as direct federal hiring, are also the hardest to implement!

@Scoobie: it was a big story not too long ago – apparently a number of businesses were posting jobs on Monster and saying you have to be currently employed to apply.

October 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm
(6) David says:

They need to increase the benefits for those of us that really need them with children and cut off the people without kids. I am on UIA and still lost my home to foreclosure and things aren’t getting any better. I am applying to some places for the third or fourth time now. The jobs have not reurned and I’m almost at the end of UIA. I need a debt relief program that allows me to eliminate my debt without penalty. I qualify for chapter 7 but I’d rather find a job that will pay me enough to place my kids in daycare and still keep the lights on. I hope they focus on the 99er’s and send us some help asap.

Signed Obama Supporter.

October 9, 2011 at 11:07 am
(7) jim says:

So you are saying the only one that NEEDS unemployment benefits is someone who has kids? I don’t remember anyone forcing anyone to have kids. That was your choice. Plus you want more money. That really takes the cake!!! Losing my job was not my choice!! And since I have paid into the system for over 30 years there is no reason I shouldn’t get paid what the system mandates now when I need it. Just because someone has no kids doesn’t mean that they don’t have bills to pay and responsibilties. Plus you want run up your debt and walk away from it. Give me more!! Forget about what I owe!! What more can I get for nothing!! And by the way I hope that the “Hope and change” is working out for you.

October 9, 2011 at 11:26 am
(8) Pamela says:

My sentaments exactly!!! I’ll second THAT!

November 7, 2011 at 10:42 am
(9) THOLDEM says:

Well said! I will ‘third’ that. How selfish to want to cut off people without kids. I guess that is the ‘Obama’ mentality.
I lost my job too. However, I did not rack up any debt beforehand. You reapwhat you sow.

October 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm
(10) S says:

That’s right, everyone knows that people who have kids are special and the rest of us deserve to be out on the street.

November 13, 2011 at 10:16 am
(11) Allen says:

I have a special place in my heart for children(but) those without children need to live too.

October 10, 2011 at 2:04 pm
(12) eriberto nunez says:

as of oct. 9 a report, says that penn, and jersey just extened unemployment for 99 more weeks, [check it out ,,unemployment extension.org] its says that theses 2 states will go to 99 weeks, is it true? it also said u can file for and extension for 2012,,, im looking for this report on the jersey news channel!!!!

November 17, 2011 at 9:58 am
(13) Dorothy says:

I am a grandmother and I lost my job, too. My unemployment has run out and I am hoping and praying the extension goes through. I have lost 2 places to live and about to lose a third. I have my daughter and my two grandchildren that live with me and she cannot make enough to support us. I have looked for jobs and had a few interviews. I have a couple of degrees and am still having problems. I had to dummy my resume to even get interviews. (Sad) There are only two things that will even help at this point. The first would be a job and the second would be if they approved the benefits. Even though it is not enough to live comfortably, it is enough to live and to help have resources to even look for a job. I do read alot and they weren’t hiring people without jobs because they said their skills would be lacking due to not using them. This is very sad, it is the people that are unemployed that need the help, whether they are young or old, all races. The ones that don’t have jobs are hurting very seriously. You have a tendency to just fall into an area that you should not be in. LOSS OF HOPE.

November 19, 2011 at 11:29 am
(14) phil says:

take to thje streets!

November 19, 2011 at 4:14 pm
(15) Mary says:


Have a heart will you. I pray that you have everything you could ever hope for and more. That includes a job! I spent 35 years with a corporation that outsourced several of thier finance departments to India. It left me high and dry… out on the streets looking for a job. I am 53 years old and I have yet to find one. I know for a fact that that is why I’m not being hired, and the fact that I been on this search for 1 1/2 years. Too old and rusty. To those of you who believe we are milking the system… pray that your time doesn’t come.

November 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm
(16) Liz says:

I second that!

November 21, 2011 at 9:21 am
(17) Mary says:

Hey BoonDock Saints, It looks like your comment was deleted, but I was able to catch it before then. Thank you for speaking your mind. You expressed yourself in a way that many of us unemployed would have love to! Thumbs up and good luck in your search for full time employment.

December 2, 2011 at 12:42 am
(18) David says:

I’m unemployed and have been since 2009. I’m wondering, if Congress does pass the unemployment extensions, will this add additional weeks to the 99 weeks, or is this extension in Congressional debate presently, only referring to keeping the 99 weeks of coverage, available.

I’m one of the “long term unemployed” and my 99 weeks are set to expire-run out, at the end of January 2012.

December 5, 2011 at 11:22 am
(19) Edie says:

I feel everyone’s pain. Been unemployed for almost 2 1/2 years.Have worked temp jobs but nothing permanent. Just recently did an internship for United Way of Greater St. Louis, but the HR Generalist was not included in the budget. Exhausted federal extension unemployment and just started the Missouri State EU, receiving less than what I was receiving from federal. Lost my home in April 2010, lived with my sister, and then my daughter and now back with my sister. Still no job offers in sight. I’m 57 years old, with 3 degres, AA, B.S, and Masters in HR Management. I’m not looking to make six figures, just enough to live, pay rent and bills. This is certainly not the American Way to live. Everyone hang in there, and pray Congress extend federal unemployment.

December 6, 2011 at 8:38 am
(20) rick says:

how dare you say people without kids should stop getting unemployment, I bet you can get food stamps, @ all the other stuff people w/ kids can get.
I’m 52 @ worked from 1976 to 2009, trying to get disabilty for my epilepsy
which I’ve had since 1992. I couldn’t stop working because I had two boys to raise. wrecked tons of cars because of my disability. And do you know what the disabilty judge told me, “you don’t have enough sezuires a month to quailfy for disability, plus my carpal tunnel I have in both hands.

You know where I live now in my brother’s spare bedroom. So you @ all the other’s on here who think you got it bad. _uck you!!

December 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm
(21) Jane says:

What is the difference of Federal and State Unemployment Benefits?

December 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm
(22) Alison Doyle, Job Search Guide says:

The first 26 weeks of unemployment are state benefits. Extended unemployment benefits (up to 99 weeks of unemployment) are funded by the federal government.

Unless Congress passes legislation funding extended benefits by the end of the year, the federal benefits will expire and unemployed workers will only be able to collect up to 26 weeks of state benefits.

December 8, 2011 at 1:05 pm
(23) K says:

Im MY state .Where Mr Sanford was vacationing with his mistress and trying to deny us southerners unemployment extentions a year ago. My state wants to say the unemployment has decrease. Not so…. The unemployed is bad here, extremely. I know indiviuals who is still unemployed who have lost benefits along time ago.Lets get a state wide count of those who have lost benefites along time ago< along with the current unemployed and then we can say we have an accurate count of those in our state who are suffering.

December 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm
(24) Diana says:

I am 63 and worked for a company for over 30 years. My position was eliminated in June of this year, imagine that. My only income is unemployment and very little social security. I cannot afford health insurance and no husband. I understand it is difficult to be among the unemployed with children, but you know what, even at my age, I still have to eat and pay bills. I too did not ask to be without a job and would not have retired for several more years. Shame on you David, if that is your real name, for thinking you deserve something the rest of us do not. You are probably one of those who have abused the system for years, that I have had to support. Well you know what, it is now my turn and I deserve every damn penny, children or not.

December 9, 2011 at 4:19 am
(25) Allie says:

I live in California and have been unemployed for 5 months now. I have never in my life had trouble until now finding full-time employment. I have hit the streets, pounded the pavement and let my fingers do the walking on my computer keyboard every day to fill out apps with no luck. I am ashamed to say that I used to be one of those people that didn’t understand what it was like to be without a job. So, when I used to hear people discuss having financial difficulties, I would always reply “Get a Job”. Now being without a job for five months has been so difficult. I had to fight for my unemployment to begin with. So now if an extension is not approved I will be without food and ways to pay my bills. Those of you on here that are degrading individuals without jobs, must have jobs!!!!!!I to used to be cynical about the unemployed until I became unemployed. I never knew how hard it was to struggle and worry about paying bills until now. I feel for everyone that has ever been or will be unemployed and things have to get better. The question is when.!!!!!

December 11, 2011 at 6:11 pm
(26) Marailex says:

First of all, to David…you are an idiot.
I am 54 yrs old and as with many of you I was the victim of a restructuring…basically they replaced me with someone younger and at a much lower wage.
I have been unemployed for 6 months and I am almost to the end of my benefits. I have applied at almost 200 businesses, have been to only 5 interviews, and did not get the job(s). I know it is because of my age.
I am single and no children at home, but David, I do need to live.
I agree with the statement that those of us who have signed up for a class, schooling, retraining…should have extended benefits. I am in the middle of my course and I need the extension to finish. If that does not happen, I will be working and doing my 40 hr course at the same time, that is if I can find a place to work.
I would do it if I have to…because I want to be able to work at something other than retail.
I do believe they will extend benefits, 2012 is an election year, come on, if they don’t do it for the people, they will do it for the votes.

December 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm
(27) pacers31 says:

Hi all, I am currently on the third tier extension. As I look at the GOP proposal for UI extension, I am trying to understand what it means when they say a gradual cutback on # of weeks one can claim for benefits. I mean does it mean I will be cut off on Jan. 1 if this passes because I have used over 59 weeks already, or would I go on to the 4th tier and EUC 20 week ext. without penalty?? Does anyone know what the deal is with this “gradual” reduction in benefit weeks?? Getting nervous as there are no jobs in my area of California. Any help on this is appreciated. THanks.

December 13, 2011 at 6:35 am
(28) William S. Brandon says:

I have worked 25 yrs. at Lockheed/Martin an basically was terminated for requesting accommodations for being diabetic,when you have crooked employers at that magnitude.Thank God for extended benefits! Signed:KOBRA!

December 13, 2011 at 7:56 pm
(29) Rick says:

Kobra, I know what you mean I got it for epilepsy!!

December 14, 2011 at 5:28 am
(30) Art says:

Hello I am 48 years of age and live in California. I was laidoff from my job of five years on June 2011. My unemployment is about to end and am getting very nervous if there are no extensions. In reading some of the comments about single people do not deserve help only married people with kids i feel that is a very discrimatory remark against single people as myself. Single people also work very hard and have responsibilities. I was told that the company was doing restructuring but I know it was because of getting someone for less pay. I agree that those who feel that us single people do not deserve help or extensions are the ones who are milky it. It’s always that way those who have worked for many years always get the bad end of the stick. Please for those who believe and have faith in God, we need to pray for extensions for year 2012. In Jesus name. AMEN. God bless all. And Merry Christmas.

December 15, 2011 at 11:15 pm
(31) Hagatha says:

I am on my 4th tier of EUC, having been unemployed for 18 months for the first time in my life ( luckily ). The WA ESD notified me today I will no longer receive benefits unless Congress passes an extension. Like all of you, I am in dire need of this compensation so I can at least have a place to live. I am not going to criticize or put anyone down. I have been applying EVERYWHERE and have received no response to my resume. I hope the extension will be approved by Congress for all of us… and yes, single people certainly need it, as well as folks with children. I’m trying to stay positive, and not get any more discouraged, but it is difficult. Best wishes to all.

December 16, 2011 at 9:06 am
(32) Godisnotbroke says:

The plight so many face (including myself and my husband) is indeed a challenge to the human spirit. I lost my job of eleven years and my husband, who is in new home construction, had to let all his employees go, leaving us minus my income and his seriously compromised. He has not been paid in over 3-months. I am highly qualified for employment yet the countless resumes, calls and clamoring for a face-to-face interview have proved very disheartening. I want to work, I like to work, I have a lot to offer any employer, as does my husband. We did not ask for this, but sometimes life hands you things you would rather not have accepted. Anyone who has not experienced nasty bill collectors and the sneers of society cannot possibly understand the devastation and emotional toll this takes on individuals. Somewhere along the line, those looking in have lost love and empathy and replaced it with judgement and cruelty. Here is an idea. Instead of leveling us, why not show a little compassion and try to build up the already down trodden? I have read through this threat and I hear the pain and fear in so many of you any I just want to give you a word of hope and encouragement here. Your job (or lack thereof) is not the sum of who you are as a person. Please try to let the hatred and ugliness of thoughtless comments pass by and hold on to the fact that you are an individual with merit and worth. Even if others should respond negatively to even this post of hope, let it go. Remember “they know not what they do.” Love and prayers to us all. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. Future posters who harshly back lash those here, I implore you to search your hearts and extend love and understanding. If we ever needed support, it is now.

December 18, 2011 at 12:43 am
(33) Tina says:

I lost my job after 13 years for no reason. My boss just came to me one day and said that she was letting me go. Come to find out, she gave my job to her friends daughter that couldn’t find a job. I never was late or called in, I always went above and beyond to help anyone that needed it. Now, I went back to school full time and am getting unemployment. I really hope that I can continue getting the unemployment.

December 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm
(34) TinNC says:

Godisnotbroke, nobody could have said it best! Thank you for the inspiration. It IS hard out here for all of us. People in Congress don’t know what it’s like to struggle to pay bills and feed the family. It’s sad. It’s also sad that so many educated people cannot get hired. I, too have a college degree and I’ve NOT had the FIRST call for an interview. I’ve sent countless resumes. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong or where I need to improve. It’s frustrating…….God bless each and everyone of you here! I pray for a Merry Christmas to you all!

December 19, 2011 at 7:28 pm
(35) Cameron says:

See a pattern here? Notice that most of us are late 40′s, 50′s + who are the long term unemployed. I am childless and 48 and can’t find a job here in Oregon. Also I am a medical assistant and here in Portland -you can’t get a job just the main employer of medical jobs here will not accept anyone who doesn’t have one year of Current Paid medical experience. They discriminate and have fought them to no avail. I’m terrified I’ll be on the streets all alone-I might as well be dead cause hat’s where I’m headed. Oregon doesn’t care about the unemployed or age discrimination. Employees don’t give a crap either cause they’re employed. I need my benefits!! Damn it and I need a job so to survive. Are you listening–Older people are not worthless, YOU NEED TO HIRE US. BTW, we childless (not by choice) get NOTHING from the state or government but you women you have kids get insurance and food and shelter. Thank your God that you have kids!!

December 20, 2011 at 6:51 am
(36) Just do it folks says:

Listen people…our government is corrupt. It always has been. No one cares about anyone but themselves anymore. My benefits are almost gone too, but I will be damned if I won’t go down guns a blazing. Someone recently said on a news program that unemployment and the lack of appropriate benefits was the quickest way to get a man to plant a garden and Im not talking vegetables. Laws be damned, I’ve tried the right way….now its time to make real bread and not fear losing a damn job. At least if ask went wrong I would have shelter tv games and food. Fk this country and our piss poor governmet. $$$, here I come.

December 21, 2011 at 7:02 pm
(37) Lori says:

Yes – 50 years old, single, out of work for not following a mortgage company’s so called ethical practices for which they are now being sued for. Haven’t been able to find work now for a little over a year. I keep applying weekly but have gone on a total of four interviews. UI will be gone in two weeks. Arizona has already frozen medical assistance for adults with no dependents so I am also without medical care. Where does our country – the U.S.A. – and Arizona take care of their own? They don’t. Is this what I should be proud of?

December 23, 2011 at 7:18 am
(38) Sarah says:

I am SO OVER people with kids thinking that they deserve extra benefits and screw the rest of us. Who do you think you are? What makes your family more important than mine? NOTHING!!!! I’m a segment of the population that qualifies for no help from any public entity other than unemployment. I waited as long as I could before filing hoping I would find something. I pay taxes, & significantly more than those with children, & I am unable to get ANY type of med asst unless I have a life threatening disease. I called the Medi-Cal ofc, & they asked 100 questions to ensure I DIDN’T qualify. She asked if I was Haitian/Haitian refugee? I said no. Had I been I would have qual’d for housing, medical, and cash asst up to $1400. ARE YOU FRIGGIN ME?! I was BORN AND RAISED in IL & I don’t qualify for jack b/c of it. Is this the USA? As I’ve not been able to get any assistance b/c I didn’t get knocked up in high school and am a born/bred US citizen I had to pay my COBRA as I’m on many meds. Once my COBRA ran out I called again to see if I could get any help. I went in w/ a list of 8+ meds but nada. I pay $243/mo for very avg coverage.

My blood boils when I continually hear how unemployed parents should receive extra accommodations. I’ve worked since I was 18 & I’m 35 now. I’ve never used unemp benes before or any assistance. I was laid off a few years ago w/ 250+ others; many of who had been at this comp for 20, 30 yrs.

The majority of us who are unemp don’t want to be & have a slew of stressor-kids or not. Be grateful you are privy to the plethora of extras you have access to & keep your numskulled trap shut!

I have 2 BS, 2 MS degrees & my PhD & I STILL can’t find a job. I could prob start a sm bus but I’ve been told if you are on unemp you can’t get a tax ID, bus lic, etc. SO frustrating! All I can do is trudge ahead & pray 2012 isn’t as forsaken as 2008-2011! Good luck to all of you who aren’t as ignorant as the poster who clearly got under our skin! =)

November 7, 2012 at 10:07 am
(39) Jennifer Nobles says:

If you are unemployed, it’s important that you adopt the correct mentality. Giving up is not a choice, especially if you have a family. So you need to take up a different approach to unemployment. Use it as a springboard for bigger and better things. Start your own business, or take the time to apply for your dream job. Whatever you choose, this can be an exciting opportunity for growth.

December 3, 2012 at 12:04 pm
(40) Elyse says:

If you’re unemployed for longer than a few weeks, employers figure there must be something wrong with your work otherwise someone would have hired you. It becomes a vicious circle. That’s the bad news. The worse news is that as benefits drop, fewer people are counted as unemployed and the economy seems to be improving when it’s really not.

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