Home Money Unemployment Benefits Set to Expire for Ohioans Next Month

Unemployment Benefits Set to Expire for Ohioans Next Month

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Although the holiday season is now in full swing, a large group of Ohioans may not be so cheery in the upcoming month. 55,000 people are at risk of losing unemployment benefits if the current fiscal crisis is not solved.

Policy Matters Ohio, a policy research organization, brought this issue to light as talks of the rapidly approaching fiscal cliff heat up.

According to the Policy Matters Ohio website, Ohio has very strict requirements that make a person eligible for these unemployment benefits. The site points out if a person makes minimum wage and works 28 hours a week, then he or she does not qualify for the unemployment benefits.

“Without these benefits, there would be less retail workers as there are recipients of unemployment compensation,” said Policy Matters Ohio Research Director Zach Schiller.

The benefits were originally extended under the Bush Administration, which kept many working people above the poverty line.

If Congress does not extend the benefits again, millions of people and thousands of Ohioans could ultimately fall below the poverty line.

Schiller pointed out that those who receive unemployment compensation use the money for necessities like food, mortgages and car payments.

Schiller pointed out that not only would it be harder for people to provide for themselves and their families, but if the benefits are not renewed there could be negative implications for the economy as well. Most beneficiaries of the benefits fund the local economy with the unemployment compensation.

In addition, Schiller noted that a person who started receiving unemployment benefits in July of 2012 would be added to the 50,000 Ohioans who would not be receiving full compensation. Those unemployed workers who started collecting in July would also be in a vulnerable position of falling below the poverty line because if no deal were made by the deadline, then they would stop receiving their full benefits.

Franklin County would be impacted greatly if there is no extension as nearly half of the already 11,000 who are unemployed in Franklin would be in jeopardy of losing the benefits.

To that end, Sen. Sherrod Brown’s Spokeswoman Lauren Kulik said that Sen. Brown is pushing for the fiscal cliff legislation to include strong job components.

“Unemployment insurance protects Ohioans and their families when their jobs are eliminated,” said Spokeswoman Kulik.

Without an extension, more than approximately two million Americans would end up losing their unemployment benefits, which certainly has repercussions for the nation’s already slow economic recovery.

As talks on Capital Hill are underway, the fiscal deadline is Dec. 31.  Federal benefits end promptly on Dec. 29.

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