Federal Unemployment Benefits Set To Expire

By: Meaghan M. Norman Email
By: Meaghan M. Norman Email

LANSING--- After this Saturday, November 27, if you want an extension on your federal unemployment benefits, you are out of luck.

Congress has not yet voted to extend the benefits which means the unemployment office in Michigan will not be processing any new claims.

Penny Swan has been unemployed for almost two years and she relies heavily on her federal unemployment benefits that will run out next week.

"It means I can't pay rent I don't have any money for food. I can't put gas in my car I can't buy medicine I need. Anything you go out and spend money for isn't there," said Swan.

Saturday is the last possible day to apply for a federal extension. The state unemployment office is not processing any new federal emergency unemployment claims.

"It's a creature of federal law and unfortunately the state of Michigan is powerless to control it," said Stephen Geskey, the director of Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency.

The last extension that Congress granted runs out November 30, 2010. But all benefits don't just drop off on that date. It's a gradul process but one with potentially catastrophic consequences.

"For the most part it will continue from November until April. For that time period we're looking at 200,000 people."

Next week Penny Swan will be one of 45,000 people without federal benefits and without another option.

"People think because we're on unemployment we're sitting back enjoying ourselves. But $330 per week, you can't have much after paying rent, car insurance," said Swan.

There is some good news though, the state's unemployment benefits are still intact. You can still get up to 26 weeks of benefits for those who qualify.

"This is just one state of 50, there are 50 states going through this right now," said Geskey.

Swan can take solace in knowing that she is not alone, but it won't help her put food on the table over the holidays.

"I never thought I'd be in these straits and I don't see a way out," said Swan.

If you are unsure of your benefits balance, you can log onto the MARVIN system or use the call center. You may have a better response by going online to the state's Web site and MARVIN because the unemployment agency has been seeing a substantial increase in call volume.

For those who are at risk of losing their benefits or they have already run out, there are resources out there. Just click the links at the bottom of this article.

MARVIN: 1-866-636-3993, option 2
Toll-free claims line: 1-866-500-0017
Explanation of benefits: 1-866-MI-HELPS (1-866-644-3577)

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by laura Location: diamondale on Nov 30, 2010 at 06:36 AM
    This started happening in March and it's still going. I loss my unemployment in March and still can't find a job. But the goverment keeps saying that the rates for unemployment are dropping. No you just stopped counting all of us that don't get it anymore. We are still unemployed, but now we don't count as unemployed.Maybe they should have everyone who is still unemployed stand up and be counted and see how many of us there really are.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 30, 2010 at 05:59 AM
    Everyone has an opinion, even me. We need to find JOBS for these people. Only with the economy in the dump thats much harder than it looks. Meanwhile we can not just let people starve and become homeless. When did the USA become a 3rd world country? We have always taken care of our own. But it seems only if our own live in our own homes, everyone else can go to the devil. Makes you proud to be an American.
  • by very concerned on Nov 29, 2010 at 11:28 AM
    GREAT idea Maryann...like you're the first to come up with the idea of becoming the next entrepreneur. Just how long do you think fall and raking leaves lasts? Most buisiness's take not only SOME money to launch but a great deal of money....I know I've been trying since we had to close the doors of our 30 year buisness. Along with Michigans laws, permits, and licenses, required for EVERY business we've looked into, you also have advertising, liability insurance protection and the list goes on and on...Do not try to diminish the magnitude of the plight of hundreds of thousands of people soon to meet such devasting circumstances, with such silly pipe dreams. You truly have NO IDEA what you're talking about!
  • by Beavis on Nov 29, 2010 at 07:21 AM
    There is no hope and things will not change. The Republicans will see to that. All efforts will be made to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Start learning hunting, fishing, canning, well, almost anything that you can from your elders. You will want to eat without having to steal or rob.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 26, 2010 at 06:27 AM
    Just Keep asking yourself, How's that HOPE & Change thingy , Working out for YOU?
  • by Anonymous on Nov 26, 2010 at 05:43 AM
    Many will be in a serious way.This state does not help single adults,or those with out kids,married or other wise.Engler stopped the GA program a long time ago.This has already caused homeless ones to double.It is sick about all the jobs that left this country. Inless they come back or are replaced asap.The future for many is bad.Thousands face loosing homes and all they worked for.The government did NOTHING to stop jobs from leaving,So they need to take care of the thousands left behind.If nothing else TAX those oversea companies enough to pay the people they left behind,or not buy their products.Start new companies here.People need JOBS to cover the cost of living we now face by PRICES going up.The ones Gov didn't put freezes on ect.Greed is destroying the USA.Both parties are to blame.They allowed the WRONG things.So who should help people?
  • by non anonymous on Nov 25, 2010 at 12:15 PM
    @ John from Parma... I've seen People i know of, freak out when their bubble of financial protection burst and they started looking for a job and faced a dark reality.
  • by 99er on Nov 24, 2010 at 04:51 PM
  • by John Location: Parma on Nov 24, 2010 at 04:35 PM
    No, the jobs are NOT out there. Why can't people understand that a four week part time job for Christmas is not a real job, just a temporary diversion. People need real 40 hour per week jobs that will pay the bills. My 61 year old wife was sent to a temp job at a factory in Rives. She was let go after 45 minutes because she was " not up to company standards". Don't you dare say she is just lazy. This woman ran injection molding machines for 22 years. She knows what work is like. It's just at our age with so many unemployed people available if you can't run the whole shop in 10 minutes you " gotta go". The only people who criticize the unemployed are those who have jobs. But oh does that view change when the shoes on the other foot.
  • by FactCheck Location: MI-7 District on Nov 24, 2010 at 11:28 AM
    When the new Congress takes power in January I expect that the new Republican House will push forward to rescind and repeal any unemployment benefits. I honestly think that they will also try to reduce, or eliminate, the minimum wage under the slogan that America must be competitive to create jobs. John pretty much said it, Rep. Walberg will help ship our few remaining jobs overseas to help his friends in Big Business and Big Oil. Afterall, they helped finance his campaign. Instead of voting for someone that was pushing to repeal NAFTA, (and other free trade agreements), pushing to regulate the financial system so another Depression/Recession will NOT be possible, backing legislation to protect and preserve the enviroment for our children, and pushing for election campaign reform; the people of the MI-7 District voted for Walberg against their own, their children's, their grandchildren's, best interests. What fools!
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