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  • Writer's pictureDavid Manes

2014 Unemployment Benefits Expire For 70,000 In Pennsylvania

The holiday season is often the hardest time to be without a job, and for those relying on federal unemployment assistance, it may prove even harder in 2014. Starting on December 28, 2013, the benefits provided by the federal government, which have proven to be a safety net for families, will expire. This expiration will terminate the federal benefit extension for nearly one million Americans nationwide, including over 70,000 Pennsylvanians. Without congressional action, 2014 unemployment benefits expire even if the individual receiving the benefits under the federal program has remaining time or balance. Many of the families that are losing these benefits have had to plan for the lack of benefits by cutting the holiday celebrations beyond the already reduced amount. Some families will be faced with the choice between necessities, such as heating and food, or gifts and Christmas trees.

When the unemployment benefits expire, it will pose a significant issue as 70,000 Pennsylvania instantly lose their source of income. However, extending these benefits would help those desperately in need, the effort to extend the benefits beyond the deadline likely is insufficient. While a number of politicians have advocated for this program and its extension beyond the deadline later this week, there is unlikely to be sufficient support for these benefits to have them extend into next year for any length of time. As such, the federal benefits program will likely end in a few days, placing numerous Pennsylvanians and other American families in dire straits.

The federal benefits assistance was initially implemented during the heart of the financial crisis to protect the individuals whom were out of work and unable to find work with no opportunities for other positions as employers were slashing their workforces in an attempt to protect their businesses from the economic hardship. While the effects of the recession have continued to linger, the federal benefits have continued to protect the American workforce whom found themselves out of work.

While much of the country has recovered from the financial crisis, there are still individuals whom have benefited from this program. In particular, this program has proved to offer continued beneficial to individuals whom are most hard off following the darkest days of the recessions, the long term unemployed. The long term unemployed are individuals whom have been out of work for over six months. While one may question how someone would be unable to find a job in this period, these individuals often find it extremely difficult to find another position because of their lack of current employment. Employers often look at this pool of applicants and question why they have been out of work. This subsequently creates a Catch-22, where individuals are unemployable because they are unemployed. The federal assistance programs have helped protect these individuals whom, are deemed no longer employable. For this group of long term unemployed, the federal benefits have proven to be a bulwark against severe economic hardship, ensuring that people are able to provide the necessities for themselves and their families.

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