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Alison Doyle

Dear Santa: All I Want for Christmas

By December 15, 2013

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Need a JobLast year, Congress went down to the wire before extending federal unemployment compensation leaving millions of people wondering whether they would continue to receive benefits.

I had hoped this year would be different and that it wouldn't be politics as usual. It isn't. In fact, it's even worse because everyone collecting federal benefits will stop, abruptly, on December 28 rather than finishing the tier of benefits they are collecting. Plus, benefits for the long-term unemployed were already cut when the last extension was passed.

Politicians can discuss budgets and making deals, but, what about the people who are making nothing and who have no idea where what they will do if unemployment is left to expire? It's not a question of having Christmas for the kids, it's how am I going to pay my rent and where am I going to live?

Here's what it's like for just a few of the unemployed workers who have shared their stories and commented on blog posts:

Dear Santa: All I want for Christmas is a Job. If that is too hard to arrange from one of the 558 applications I have filled out, then please give me a federal unemployment extension.

I'm preparing to be homeless this Christmas by selling and saving what I can to survive in the woods.

I'm in a panic trying to figure out what to do to have a place over my head. It's NEVER been this hard to find work.

I have never used unemployment in the 35 years l have worked... now at 49 my extension will end and l don't have any other income.

Share Your Story: Unemployment Stories

Read More: Unemployment Extension | Unemployment Extension 2014

Image Copyright Getty Images Peter Dazeley

December 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm
(1) Adam says:

A lot of the people are saying “my tax money” etc etc, but what they fail to realize is that most of us have paid into unemployment for 40+ years and have never used it. We have paid in way more than we coils draw out in a year, let alone a couple years. Ws have paid taxes our whole life and we have been hard working people. If there was a job available we would take it. 99% of us hate being out of work. Go to McDonalds they say. Well, the closest fast food restaurant is an hour and a half away from where I live. Minimum wage doesn’t hardly pay for the gas. I have four kids, one them requires 24/7 care. When I am working I will have to pay for at least 8 hours of child care a day because my wife can’t do it all the time and I will need rest to go to work. I’d I am paying someone minimum wage to take care of my child while making minimum wage then I am basically losing money because of travel costs. Then what? She can’t get the care she needs and my other kids starve. Before you say anything, I do have a masters degree and I was making well over $200,000 a year so I could afford to have kida. Everything was fine and I was assured that my job was secure. Unemployment isn’t a living, it is not even getting by.Is the answer to go on a government program? Then I would still be using tax payer money. These people don’t realize that the cost to run welfare and things will go up so they are still using tax money, and more of it to boot. I can’t get any government assistance right now because they tell me my unemployment is too high. The cutting off of benefits will only create more debt, less jobs, criminals,and a higher rate of government sponges. Use your head for once people. You think your better because you were lucky enough to keep your job, but you need to be put in our shoes just once to understand. We didn’t quit our jobs or get fired, unemployment won’t pay you in those cases, and they DO check on our job contacts to make sure we are doing a job search.

December 16, 2013 at 6:40 am
(2) Janice says:

I am 51 years old and have worked since age 14! I was laid off last May from my job managing a retail coffee shop for reasons that are still unknown to me, but I suspect because my annual salary was higher than the average manager and I was also much older than the average manager in the company. I’m in the middle of retraining to prepare myself for a small business doing animal massage, and work part-time at a local church while looking for full time work, but need unemployment benefits to survive. Like so many others I’ve applied to hundreds of jobs but competition is fierce (the idea that “jobs are growing” in Massachusetts is fine if you’re a high-tech or construction worker) … I don’t require a huge salary to get by as I have no children, but at this point can’t even afford to feed a dog without unemployment benefits!

December 16, 2013 at 6:12 pm
(3) Stephen says:

I am 49 years old and now homeless. I want Congress to go back to when I was laid off 4.5 years ago, and to extend my unemployment benefits. I need work. I went back to school for Accounting and graduated in 2012 with my Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. The two things I ask for. Never mind ask…Beg for is a decent job and a roof over my head.

December 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm
(4) Diane says:

I just received a telephone call from a collection agency regarding a bill. I did my best to answer all of the representative’s questions. But, then the “conversation” disintegrated into “we represent blah blah company and this is a demand for payment!” I, like the previous people who have left comments am part of the nameless, faceles, 1000lb. gorilla in the room that are elected officials do not want to deal with. The November, 2013 employment numbers presented by the U.S. Dept. of Labor is a farce. Once a person is no longer receiving unemployment benefits and does not reappear on some other benefits program either govermental or private how does the government count you? You have fallen off the radar and are now invisible.
Two weeks ago I actually got through on C-SPAN’s program Washington Journal. The question was, “Do you feel optimistic about the economy because 230,000 jobs were created in November, 2013. I was allowed to speak for approximately 1 minute before being disconnected by the on air journalist. Was I disconnected because I was one of the many silent voices of the long term unemployed? I have been unemployed since 2009 when my job was outsourced. I completed the job retraining program offered through my state’s dept. of labor. I had a temp job from 2/13 – 8/13, the position paid the minimum wage. I have 30 years of paid work experience, 2 Master degrees, and 2 certificates. I have never received any government assistance/benefits until losing my job and if I could find a job with a living wage it would be business as usual for me, go to work, and earn my way in life.

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