Americans Suffer After Failure to Extend Emergency Unemployment Benefits

Filed in DOL by on January 3, 2014 13 Comments

Ed. Note: As of  January 25, 2014, an additional 300,000 Americans will lose their emergency unemployment benefits, bringing the total to 1.6 million Americans who will have lost a critical lifeline as they continue to look for a job. As congress continues to fail to act, this number will continue to  increase.

Last month, Congress failed to extend funding for the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which serves as a critical lifeline for families struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table after losing a job through no fault of their own.

In December, the White House issued a report detailing the many negative consequences of failing to do so. On Dec. 28th we saw the most immediate consequence when 1.3 million Americans were cut off from these benefits even as they continue to search for work.

Want to know how this failure is affecting families near you? Here are the latest state-by-state estimates of people who have been impacted, or will be in the near future:

Are you one of the 1.3 million? Share your story in the comments below, or on Twitter by tagging @USDOL.

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Comments (13)

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  1. Leah A says:

    for the first time in my life i might actually have to apply for welfare. i dont want to do it but i have rent and other bills to pay. get it together please.

  2. Angela says:

    Among many other things, my daughter has to now live at home instead of in the college dorm because we can not afford it. our family had to move into an apartment to afford to help our daughter live in the dorms, now with no unemployment she had to move into the 2 bedroom apartment that we are renting. She is on the dean’s list and honor roll with a major in chemical and biological engineering and busing tables to help with expenses. We share one car between 4 of us that is 13 years old….Will we ever catch a break??

  3. James Smith says:

    Tell the republicans I am not a person looking for a handout … I am looking for a job… This is the only thing from me and Welfare

  4. Debora Cerrato says:

    I have just minimal basic thigs to live, rent, food, gas, ins…and dont have no other source of income but UI, applied many places and nothing not even a partime, something is not righ, we are not playing, companies are not hiring ,i wont stop lookin, but please help us with something to survive. Walfare so so rude when you go to ask for help they should understant a little how hard is the situation now, try to apply for wellfaregot nothing will try again. Please help.

  5. Sarah Johnson says:

    I lost my job in 2010, and my unemployment ran out in May of 2012. I moved in with my partner in October 2012 or I would have been homeless. Luckily he has a job. I’m 50, put myself through grad school and worked at my career, not just a job, for over 20 years–making huge personal sacrifices for my career. Now, I just feel really betrayed because the global economic meltdown seems to have taken my career down with it and while economists say the economy is improving, my chances seem completely stalled as a long-term unemployed professional. I have applied online more times than you can imagine, and rarely even hear anything back unless I contact them, then get a no thanks and good luck email. I’ve taken classes, networked my tail off, done all of the things I’ve been advised to say but in the end, I seem to be regarded as inherently flawed or I wouldn’t be in this position and this social/economic Darwinism has to stop. Dealing with this situation in the longer term is so difficult and isolating because you have to manage other people’s issues–their fear and blame and anger–with your own and you have to really fortify yourself not to be swept away by depression because the resolution of this situation–good jobs with benefits for several million people like me, seems unlikely. It feels like this will never change and I’m professionally frozen in amber…

  6. Connie DeCaire says:

    Like Sarah Johnson, I was unemployed in 2010. It took almost 2 years to find employment. I am now underemployed part time – but totally psyched to have a job. I am emotionally scarred by the unrellentless job hunt and the temp jobs that let me feeling less then human. I was a single mom who worked two jobs, put myself through school and worked up the ranks to become a successful business woman all to have it taken away and now to be starting over with no hopes of ever having a successful career at my age. The only thing that got me through was the UI and I support the extended benefits. Too many people are on welfare. It just sucks to have worked so hard for so long to have it all taken away for ever. No job, no UI and we me , no retirement (which I never could afford and still don’t have – looks like never will). I am also scarred by the Democrats saying that we are all looking for handouts when I busted my ass looking for a job every single day!

  7. Alicia Ward says:

    I was unexpectedly laid off from my job of over 13yrs, back in September 2012, which was the second time in my professional career. The first time I got laid off I got stuck in the anger that I felt but what was different in 2012, I decided to not allow the company or the job to define who I am and limit what I can do. Instead I was inspired to start a blog to share my journey and hopefully inspire and empower others who may be going through similar circumstances. The blog is titled “There is Life After Layoff!” ( The blog eventually opened up an opportunity for me to host a nationally syndicated blog/talk radio show of the same name. The show is used as a forum to discuss many topics associated and that stem from or are directly related to the experience of being laid off. We provide valuable resources and helpful information as we share. It is a caller driven show and want our listeners to know that they are not alone and can share their story. You can tune in weekly on Tues. 7-8pm through Atlanta Life radio at Please join in on the conversation with us!

  8. Andrew Kearney says:

    I really don’t understand why they won’t let unemployment benefits go through. It’s a boon for the economy, and it keep demand for basic necessities up. If the unemployed start saving too much money, it slows down the entire economy. Everyone suffers — and needlessly at that.

    I’m a decent, hardworking person who’s been smart about saving most of my life. But, as a result of some health issues and having children, my savings have become a thing of the past. And now, as a result of this ongoing recession, I’ve found myself chronically unemployed, getting beaten out by outsourcing, younger candidates, and a workforce that’s retiring at an older age. I am out constantly trying to find new employment, but the jobs just aren’t there.

    I don’t feel like I deserve getting stepped on, or labeled as a parasite, or a socialist. I just want basic fairness. I want to earn my own wages. I don’t understand why people like me are taking the brunt of criticism for the current state of the US economy? How are we not looking to the players who caused the 2008 financial crisis?

  9. sentient says:

    I have been out of work for four months. I am well educated over 50 with solid job skills. If I was 35, I’d have been working in a month. If you can’t extend benefits then use that money to extend credits to companies that hire and retain long term unemployed. Do something not rhetoric. We are real people with families that want to work.

  10. Ericka Dolinar says:

    I worked for the same company for the past 12 yrs and laid off last May. I was able to collect UI for only 6 months when then I couldn’t get the extension at all at the end of the year. I’ve been looking for employment consistently and haven’t found anything. I don’t want to turn to welfare but I will literally be HOMELESS next month if something doesn’t turn up!! I’ve never been in such a desperate situation before!!!!

  11. madelene smith says:

    In May of 2013 I lost my job through no fault of my own. I have been looking everywhere for a job and just can’t find one .
    The UI and the EUC has been the only thing that has been keeping me from being homeless. Now my car has been repossessed and the rent is over due and my lights are fixing to be cut off. I figure that since I am having to go to charity organizations and beg for help then I might as well let the government know what they are putting all of us through. This wouldn’t have been so bad if they would have set something up to help us get through this transition, but it was just stopped with absolutely no concern for the US citizens that were depending on this income to be able to live, have some where to lay our heads at night and have power and water. The basic essentials of life. You would think that since we are the ones that vote these people in office that they would have come up with something better than this. I guess that most of them up there have enough money and good jobs that they cant even empathize with us, so they just don’t care. let’s not vote these people into office again.

  12. John Q Public says:

    Maybe the 2 million people should March on Washington and up to doors of Congress… The republicans are so busy using people as PAWN’S, that they have allowed unemployed Veterans to suffer all across the country.
    WE NEED TO REMEMBER THIS WHEN THE REPUBLICANS ASK FOR THEIR VOTES AT ELECTION TIME..Just like hoe they closed down the govt and wasted more taxpayers dollars that coulld have provided help to the unemployed famlies..

  13. Ida firm says:

    I lost my job in May of 2014 due to re-org and others having seniority. I was devastated because I had went through this 3 years before after working 20 years consistently. Losing my job has caused me to lose my apartment because I could not afford it. Me and my family had to separate to live with other people too. I moved out of state to thinking because the cost of living was less, I would be able to find work and we would all be back together. How wrong was I…since I don’t have a car, I soon realize the jobs are unreachable. The jobs that are reachable by public transportation are filled. Well after giving it a few months without any results, I have to move back to my hometown. I will probably have to applied for welfare and food stamps and live in a shelter. This is a shame to happen in this country. Another thing I realize is that being layoff puts a black cloud over your head. Employers from what I recently learn look at layoffs as being fired in a nice way. The assumption is, why were you layoff? Were you not valuable to your manager? And remember, you can’t tell the interviewer if you thought it was favoritism, or your boss was just a “a-hole” that just didn’t like you. No you can’t do that or you are looked at as a bad person with no soft skill. Anyway, losing my job has put me in debt, made me and my family homeless, and now looking for social service for guidance. When I get another job, I’m not sure if I want a high paying job anymore. What I experience was people that did not get paid a lot are able to get help with rent so they don’t become homeless. People that are able to afford their rent, but lose their jobs are not entitle to get help. You must first wait until you lost everything that you work for in life before you get help.

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