43,000 Jobless Residents Should Keep Filing For Checks That Could End This Week

by Categorized: Economy, Jobs, Public finance Date:

Among the people most immediately affected by the fiscal cliff cliffhanger are those who have been out of work for more than 26 weeks, and stand to lose unemployment benefits after this week — maybe.

They should keep applying online for their checks, the state Department of Labor said, this week and into the new year until the new rules are clear.

There are 43,000 jobless Connecticut residents receiving benefits who would lose those payments immediately unless President Obama and Congress reach an agreement. We’d have thought the restoration of the so-called Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program would have been the first to be saved, along with the cut in payroll taxes enacted during the recession.

But no. As the dysfunctional U.S. House prepares to come back into session Sunday night, through the New Year if necessary, everything remains on the table.

The 43,000 threatened Connecticut residents are in addition to about 50,000 who are receiving benefits under the state program that covers the first 26 weeks, the department said.  That group, of course, would lose benefits after 26 weeks unless the program is extended.

Those threatened include thousands whose benefits had tapped out in the spring, when the benefits fell to 63 weeks because the unemployment rate fell, but who became eligible again this fall when the rate rose back up to 9 percent, pushing the eligibility up to 73 weeks.

“These federal benefits are providing a lifeline to many of our residents who are trying to make ends meet while looking for work,” state Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer said in a written release.

It will be easier for the state to respond if everyone continues to file as if they were eligible, Palmer said.

It’s disheartening to have to go through the motions for a government program that may or may not exist, just as it’s absurd to ask companies to plan their spending in 2013 without knowing the rules.

Connecticut’s unemployed people were able to receive up to 99 weeks of coverage at the peak of the crisis, until early this year, through a combination of state and federal programs.

The department said it’s keeping affected people informed by mail and is urging all people seeking work to contact a CTWorks Career Center by searching online or by calling 2-1-1.

In this and other areas, Connecticut could be especially vulnerable because the U.S. economy is showing improvement and the state situation is not.  It’s possible that extended unemployment benefits could be curtailed on economic grounds even though it’s still needed in places such as here.

Likewise, Connecticut’s stalled recovery could be set back further if mortgage rates and business interest rates start to climb, reflecting a national recovery that we are not seeing.

 

The Courant is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on courant.com articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.

21 thoughts on “43,000 Jobless Residents Should Keep Filing For Checks That Could End This Week

  1. Really?

    Its disheartening that unemployment checks don’t run in perpetuity despite the best efforts of liberals to create yet another entitlement out of whole cloth.

    Welcome to the Obamanation, where money we don’t have flows freely from the Treasury printing presses.

    Thanks for voting for this ship of fools.

    1. p hofmann

      really. you need to check out just exactly what unemployment entails. it never goes for perpituity and Obama has nothing to do with it. please check your facts before you type. It’s easy to make statements without facts. this “ship of fools” speaks more to posters with no facts.

      1. DON886

        Obama does seem to want the extended benefits program to continue forever and does not care about the debt we push on the next generation. I realize many folks need the money and the job situation is bad and there are limits on collecting, but the program cannot last forever.

      2. Really?

        @p hofmann: Obama and the Federal Government have repeatedly enacted legislation to extend the standard 26 weeks of unemployment with federal benefits. Those benefits have extended to nearly two years in length and can go further if extended again. My point is that there is no end in sight to Federal unemployment benefits given the proclivity of Obama to keep extending them. He wants to extend them again as part of the fiscal cliff negotiation.

        I should note also that unemployment benefits extensions are part of why we have $1T + federal deficits as far as the eye can see. When former Senator Jim Bunning suggested that the Government actually try to pay for the benefit extension, he was of course crucified by the left.

        I’d suggest that YOU check YOUR facts before rebutting mine.

  2. HappyMe

    Why doesn’t the state of Connecticut step up and continue sending checks with their treasury if this is sooooo important? The state has to urge people to contact a CTWorks Career Center? Really? That’s like somebody urging a man dying of thurst to contact the local watering hole. If the state has to urge people to use this free resource, then it’s time to cut the cord on unemployment benefits at 26 weeks, and certainy not 73 weeks.

  3. Fortuneteller

    I’m guessing HappyMe is between the ages of 18 and 40, is a student, employed or has inheritance.

    I’m guessing he/she is not unemployed.

    One thing I don’t have to guess at is his/her lack of empathy. Worn like a badge of (dis)honor.

    1. Mike

      I’ve been unemployed in my life, and I’m old enough to remember when you had to report to Main Street in the north end of Hartford to apply and you had to show that you were looking for work to keep getting checks. Now everything is over the phone. The checks arrive by mail. You no longer have to demonstrate that you are looking for work. For that matter, you can sit home and loaf and drink your days away if you wish. Unemployment “insurance” is just another form of welfare now. As for empathy, I can tell you that I cleaned toilets, dug ditches, painted apartments, and hauled garbage just to stay alive during periods of unemployment. I know what poverty is like, and I also know that subsidized idleness perpetuates poverty.

  4. AMERICA IS DYING

    Record breaking Union Member Pro Sporting Contracts signed year after year and there are no jobs in America.

  5. Mike

    So, the US House of Representatives is “dysfunctional” because they won’t roll over and bark on command? Kudos to the Republicans for refusing to agree to Obama’s massive tax and spending increases and phony spending “cuts”. At least someone in this country has integrity. We need massive cuts in spending far beyond even those outlined in the “cliff”. The Federal budget should be balanced by law every year. No more deficit spending, ever. It’s time to admit what no one will talk about: the current $16 Trillion debt will never be paid and must be settled in an orderly default. This means asset sales, massive spending cuts, tax increases for all (including the 47% who currently pay nothing), and a haircut for bondholders. Will this require sacrifices and hard times? Yes, but it can’t be avoided. The alternative is hyperinflation, monetary collapse, and the end of the United States as we know it.

  6. Mike

    There are about 12 million illegal immigrants in the US. Although $100s of billions are spent on welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, etc. for illegals, most able-bodied illegals are working in jobs that our “chronically unemployed” could be doing. Instead of endlessly extending unemployment benefits, why not offer the unemployed the agricultural work currently being performed by illegal aliens? Move Americans into these jobs and deport the illegals. Doesn’t this beat subsidizing idleness? Why continue to delude ourselves that “manufacturing will come back”? It’s gone, and it won’t come back in our lifetimes. Until we get a government that understands that economic growth comes from effort, ability and hard work (and not from deficits, high taxes, subsidies, and regulations), the only hope for the unemployed is to return to farm labor.

    1. Professor Poop

      Mike; I’m not sure where to begin correcting your statements. First, these “illegals” cannot obtain many of the social service that are available to Americans. The one exception is medical and we don’t turn away anyone who needs acute care. Which of course is why those among us supported universal single-payer health coverage and received an act less then what was needed to reduce rates.

      Unemployed Americans will not go to the farms to pick apples or bend over to pull roots out of the ground. We/they should. It is good exercise and one is compensated at the same time. I would in fact like to see bus loads of employed Americans go to the farms for a few weeks out of the season topics. But we have grown too lazy. And so mostly indigent Mexicans have taken on these jobs that no one else will do.

      I do believe that the federal government has neglected the issues related to easy entrance to this country. But I am less prone to blame the Mexicans who are only attempting to better themselves. They have simply been scapegoated.

      In terms of American manufacturing, here the laws of economics will actually begin developing this base again. It now has become more viable for a company to produce a washing machine here I this country. Labor savings abroad to produce goods plus transportation costs and time lag becomes more costly then producing domestically at higher labor costs but quicker turnover. Companies have recently rediscovered domestic manufacturing.

      Mike, I’m afraid you have been reading from a flawed script.

        1. Professor Poop

          Let me add a point to the conservative side. Some reductions should be made for two reasons. The first is that spending has gotten out of hand and having such a large debt is not a good place tobe. Idon’t however, think we should slash and burn. My example of the bus to nowhere wassimplyan example of extravagant spending.

          The second reason for reigning in spending is simply political compromise and without compromise, a worse fate awaits the economy.

          Happy New Year – said sardonically.

  7. Dan Haar Post author

    You’re entitled to think the debt is the nation’s biggest economic problem and intelligent minds may debate that point. Most economists agree the time to cut spending is not when unemployment exceeds 7 percent, though it’s a serious long-term issue. But if you don’t think that the band of anti-government ideologues on the far right are causing the U.S. House to be dysfunctional, then there’s really no discussion here. They have sworn an oath that says they will refuse to deliberate, in a deliberative body! Now they are turning against their godfather, Grover Norquist, because he sees that restoring 1990s-level tax burdens to people who make more than $1 million a year — one million dollars per year! — just might be part of the solution. Mind you, were taking about raising taxes on the portion of income that exceeds $1 million, not on the first million. The far-right Republicans who hold this position are not smart enough to realize that their states are the biggest welfare clients in the nation, through farm subsidies, ranching guarantees and oil exploration subsidies. As for immigration policy, yes, the 12 million figure is nicely balanced but I hardly think the answer for thousands of unemployed paralegals and printing press operators is to have them cleaning toilets at McDonald’s, especially with the same band of anti-government lunatics blocking a return of the minimum wage to 1960s levels.

    1. ProfessorMS

      I don’t know who these ‘economists’ are but if you’re saying a country in recession with high unemployment is a reason NOT to cut the incredibly bloated and wasteful government spending I have a feeling you’re getting your information from a comic book. (or the NYT)

      The HIGHEST defecit in all of the decade before the current President was just over 400 billion. People were screaming bloody murder over it. Now we run over 1 TRILLION (also read 1,000 billion) per year with NO BUDGET! Nobody says a thing. No need to cut the extra spending that was added on top of the already bloated budget. Even simple-minded people with the most basic understanding of math could tell you that is just ridiculous thinking. So using your logic, if the majority of people in my house are unemployed that’s no reason to cut down on excessive spending? Do you realize what you sound like?

      And speaking of this slant of the ‘dysfunctional’ House, they have passed budgets every year, the Senate has failed to do so. The House has also already passed TWO bills that would avert the fiscal cliff, the Senate refuses to take them up for debate or offer anything of its’ own. And i’m supposed to believe that the HOUSE is disfunctional? The Senate has refused to take up the Presidents plan, the Houses plan(s) and will not come up with one of their own. Ever wonder why? Oh that’s right, we’re too busy pinning this all on the people that are actually DOING SOMETHING to get us out of this mess. Too bad you can’t see that.

    2. Mike

      An “economy” that can only be sustained by massive budget deficits, bailouts, “quantitative easing” (i.e. printing money), 0% credit, and a massive welfare state is a pathetic joke. Only the deluded think this farce can go on much longer. Calling for higher taxes (on the “rich”) is like calling for a looting spree. This isn’t the 1930s. The era of Keynesian “pump priming” is dead. The pump is broken and the well is dry. There is no industry left to “stimulate”. The Government regulated industry to death.

      Obama and friends have no idea how to produce wealth. All they understand is redistribution. Their idea of “justice” is equality of suffering.

      Romney was absolutely right when he stated that Obama won reelection by handing out gifts. The sad truth is that no party can win a national election now by preaching hard work, self-responsibility, restraint, and sacrifice. The constituency for these values is now just too small. People want free stuff now – handouts, bailouts, subsidies, healthcare, hiring quotas, “loans” (and loan forgiveness) – and they don’t care where it comes from, as long as it’s not themselves or their friends.

      We deserve the future we just voted for.

    3. Professor Poop

      I know it is counter intuitive to suggest continued spending but I agree but only to the extent that it is smart spending or smart stimulas. Indeed to continually use as an example of very flawed spending, the bus lane to nowhere. I have argued these issues with political insiders but their arguments showed superficial reasoning. They insisted that is was a example
      of needed transportation expanding infrastructure which is good planning for the future. At end, a friend using his last defense correctly insisted that the monies had already been set aside and he was correct. They were set aside pre 2008.

      Not only is it an example of wasteful spending that will never pay for itself interms of increased New Britain to Hartford commerce. The project also becomes a propaganda tool for those who want to reduce government.

      It is a no win all around but yes, it does employ labor but at too higha price.

Comments are closed.