In fact, several family members who have been receiving unemployment benefits have recently been cut off without any warning. Some of them were continuing to look for employment, some were not actively looking. You know, you have those family members too!
They were completely dependent on their unemployment (I just threw up in my mouth at the thought of being completely dependent on the government) to pay their bills and buy some chow.
This past week was no different when they filed their certification as always, on the very day they were to file, it was approved and they went on their merry way only to find out on Thursday, there was no money in the bank.
So what happened?
According to this article at NPR, which stated that “Unemployment peaked in October 2009 at 10 percent and while the decline since has been slow, the fact that the numbers are trending down means that people who have been unemployed for an extended period are going to have a harder time collecting benefits.”
Under a law enacted in February, Congress has started ratcheting down the length of time that the unemployed can receive cash assistance and as a result, more than 135,000 workers in 15 states have seen their unemployment checks run out in April alone, according to the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group.
Back to Work
So, when my family member realized their funds were not in the bank as promised, they made the call to the local IDES office only to be told “You just need to go find a job! You have no more benefits!” Problem solved, right?
So let me get this straight, I should have been looking for work all along? Did that (Well, a couple of them).
In the same article above this statement was made “Unemployment is not permanent support, so you have an incentive not to find work. If you lose a job, it’s a good idea to spend a little time searching to find a good match, but you don’t want people to be too selective.” (says Greg Acs, an economist at the Urban Institute)
From what I hear, you have people with a four year degree applying to work in sales at Penny’s just to pay the bills. Granted, not all of them do this and instead try and wait it out for something in their field. But as you all know, there are about 200 applicants to every position applied. And jobs are hard to come by, especially in the areas in which one may have always worked.
I get that some people (including family) are hoping to stay on unemployment as long as they can because the jobs they’ve applied to don’t even pay minimum wage yet they keep making an effort. And I also get that you’ll always have those that try to work the system. They’ll always be those who we even extend our hand to help (ahem, especially family) that perhaps don’t take our advice, won’t call folks back that you’ve taken the time to refer them to, and will never make an effort. Those folks, I don’t feel comfortable helping anymore, as it relates to referrals and such.
And then there are those who actually take your advice, do what you tell them, make the correct resume changes or go on the job interviews…….and still, nothing.
So what’s the solution? I’d love to hear from you on this.