Extended Unemployment Benefits to Expire

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SCRANTON -- On Saturday, extended unemployment benefits will run out for 1. 3 million Americans, including nearly 10,000 people in northeastern and central Pennsylvania.

The change will impact people who have exhausted their initial 26 weeks of benefits, which are funded by the state, and who were collecting long-term benefits that were paid for by the federal government.

According to the Pennsylvania officials, approximately 80,000 Pennsylvanians will lose the extended benefits.

According to the Department of Labor, at the end of November, 2,508 people in Luzerne County were collecting extended benefits. 1,503 people in Lackawanna County received them.

President Obama is calling on Congress to pass a bill restoring benefits when it returns to Washington next month.

At the Career Link facility in Scranton, staff members say they expect to get calls and questions from clients next week when people do not receive the money they were expecting.

"Unfortunately they panic, that they are looking for a job at the last minute, they are trying to find something," says site administrator Cathy Gerrard.

Gerrard says her facility offers programs to help people who have seen their benefits expire.

"Our job developer can work with them, one-on-one, to match them to employers, and we can offer the employer an on the job training contract where we will pay half their wages," she adds.


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  • angie

    I’m sure there are those taking advantage of benefits and not actively seeking employment. However, have you looked at the classifieds? There is barely any viable employment in the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre area. There are many people who have worked and paid into unemployment for years that now find themselves without work and families to provide for. Not everyone collecting unemployment and receiving welfare are lazy. Shame on those who pass judgment.

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  • fitzy

    you all know this could have been fixed easy right? if the government had done this one thing they would have avoided all these headaches- you pay taxes- how about you pay in to an account tied to your SSN? that the government can’t spend on anything else until you die- keeps them honest, because let’s face it- they (both sides) love to borrow money they don’t have (meaning yours!) and stick taxpayers with the bills- if they did the same individual accounts with social security they wouldn’t have the flawed Ponzi scheme they have right now- for every year you work you build on your account, you pay in to your own insurance account- when your not working for what ever reason you can tap your own money- you know why this will never happen? ppl in office want your money and will never let you keep what your paying in for so they can use it ‘someplace’ else- they will only allow you to recover a small % of money you paid in- my longest time unemployed 2 weeks- while moving to another state- you know why? I refuse to be unemployed, there are plenty of jobs out there if your willing to look and work for them- it might not be what you like doing, but that’s besides the point- you have to eat and support yourself. no one else is going to carry your water. I feel bad for people who can’t find work- but I’ve noticed they tend to have a lot of excuses as to why they can’t do something, more excuses then reasons why they could actually go and make money. I’m not saying raise taxes for this to happen- the government already takes 4-5 months worth of your yearly salary away, don’t believe me? look at your gross income, and do the math from your pay stubs.

  • Cromaninsky@ Gmail.com

    unemployment isn’t welfare so take your uneducated response and one day when.you need the.resource you ll realize your comment was ludacris.! I’ve been working since I.was 15 so I think 20 plus Years of me paying into unemployment isn’t taking food outta your mouth….

    • ME

      Uneducated. Hmmmm..Well, I guess A high School diploma and college degree makes me like the rest of Pennsylvanians. It is however taking from the educational budget, meals on wheels (so not out of my mouth, but out of seniors’ mouths), and various other much needed programs. So if they pass it, they will need to at very least enforce those papers they send with the approval (the ones you fill your application verification on). And I to have been in the work force, and was on unemployment for 2 months. But now, I pay into it again. I even have my application papers which no one ever asked for. How about you, are your filled out???

    • ME

      It DOESN’T matter what is payed into unemployment, most of what is paid out is not even originated from unemployment tax. Thus being the reason for them passing the measure to expand it previously. They had to approve reallocation of “other funds”. So the last measure was pulled from multiple “funds”. Regardless, there needs to be more scrutiny for people taking advantage of it like it was welfare since they have been cutting that down (in part mainly food stamps, of course for the extension of unemployment!).

  • ME

    I say don’t pas a new measure to keep this going! As it says, carrerlink expects to be busy, shouldn’t they already be busy? These lazy people should HAVE BEEN hitting career link! Let the taxes everyone who has got jobs and everyone that actually get new jobs after losing one go to better causes!!

    • Phyllis

      I say pass the extension. I am NOT LAZY. I have paid taxes for over 40 years. I have worked HARD all my adult life. I want to work and did the WHOLE career link process plus some. I do not have health insurance because I cannot afford it. Not EVERYONE is sitting on their a#% waiting for a check. Have some compassion for those who want work.

      • ME

        as I said, for the people who are NOT going to careerlink already. They should enforce thier pamphlets they send when you first apply, you know, the one that says to list your applications. But they never check on it. All I say, is it is way too flawed, and they need to enforce thier laws on it, and then people who aren’t abusing it will have it, stop the guilty consciousness right away..So if they are NOT enforcing it, then don’t pass it because all they are going to do is run it broke waaayyy too soon again.

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