Due to receiving more than 200 letters thus far from those who submitted letters to the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support , I need to create multiple posts.

The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support is held a hearing on June 10 titled: Hearing on Responding to Long-Term Unemployment. I asked readers of Rochester Unemployment Examiner to send me letters they wrote to the Committee that they also wanted to have published here.* Below are some of those letters. I’ll be posting other letters as I receive permission.

There is still time to write; you can submit letters to House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support is holding a hearing until the close of business on June 24.

I want to thank all of you for including me in your letters to the Hearing. I will do my best to reply to each and everyone of you in a timely fashion.

From JB in MA:

Dear Chairman McDermott and honorable committee members.

I respectfully urge you to consider extending unemployment benefits for as long as possible for 2010.

I have been unemployed since November 2008 and have no prospects for employment.

I worked as an IT manager for a company for 30 years who moved our production facility over seas and has outsourced IT support to now be handled by the corporate facility in Tulsa OK.  Our company once employed 130 and now is reduced to 35 through what is called a reduction in force program.

In an effort to see employment and to make myself more employable I have taken the following steps to enhance my chances of success.

- Attended UMass Lowell College using my own money to finish my degree

- Attended Valley Works unemployment center seeking help in my jobs search

- Registered with an employment agency in Boston

- Registered with an employment agency in my home to of Acton

- Assisted in the development of a networking support group with my Church, Acton Congregational

- Posted my resume at several job seeking websites

- Networking through Classmates.com

- Networking through LinkedIn

- Sent emails to all of my friends and former business associates asking for help

As a result of these efforts for the last 19 months, I receive few responses form online submissions and the few I do receive seem to have eliminated the jobs posting or have found the posting to expire.  I have done extensive job searching through USAJOBS.COM hoping to land a government job.  Many of the positions require very specific talents or require a security clearance which one cannot acquire on their own.

Having to also pay for my health insurance which is required by law is depleting our savings.  We are now taking the steps that we have feared for several months now by listing our house for sale in an effort to make ends meet.  I am 54 years old and have worked hard all of my life and have never been out of a job.  It’s very difficult to look into my wife’s and daughter’s eyes and tell them that I’m doing everything I can to find work, but to no avail.

Please help me and others like me who are hard working honest Americans trying to do the best we can.  I know how great this country is and I’m confident that things will turn around but folks like me need help.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Kind regards,

From BJ in CT:

Dear Chairman McDermott:

I am compelled to write you in thanks for your strength and dedication in the effort to resolve long term unemployment.  I was so hopeful for the first time in months when you announced that the Subcommittee will hold a hearing on possible policy responses to long-term unemployment on Thursday, June 10, 2010. Please know that I, and everyone I know of that are currently unemployed, are not enjoying our situation. This job market is so tough; that even after 30 years of business and financial experience, I find that I can no longer define myself by what my career was, or the education and experience I have attained, but how I am attempting to survive this economic recession and maintain just an ounce of respect before it squeezes the life out of me and my family.

I am currently in my fourth layoff.  The first was in early 1991 and the third and fourth were within ten months of one another.  All of my layoffs were large layoffs due to company financial difficulties, i.e. lawsuits, bankruptcies, or a company merger, and yet it was the employee that took the financial hit to pay for what most often was the unfortunate decision of a company’s executive.  With every layoff I have undergone throughout the years, I have taken a substantial pay cut just to get back in the workforce.  I have known what it is to work two to three part-time jobs at a time just to make ends meet until I was able to get a job in my educational and professional background.  Working odd jobs is not even an option this time around, because even part-time jobs are sparse.  I am so very tired and worn out from the day to day search for a job that is not out there. In this flooded unemployment, even in applying for a job one may be well qualified for, or for a job that one is over qualified, the result is a disappointment.  Not knowing if you will be able to pay the bills or even keep your home for another week, is a depressing, demoralizing and physical and mentally-draining experience.

On August 28, 2010, I will have completed Tier 4 of the unemployment extended 99 weeks of benefits.  I realize that 99 weeks is a ling time.  Oh do I know what a long time that is, however, in this recession, it is not necessarily long enough to land a job.  Unless the few slim leads I have for employment come my way in the next few weeks, or without congressional action in the very near future, I will have to decide whether I should continue to use up what little I have left of my 401Ks, or to sell my home of 45 years.

In your announcing of the hearing on long term unemployment you stated “If we can afford wars, tax cuts, and bank bailouts, then we can certainly afford to maintain programs for workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.  But we also need to think about additional steps to help those trying to return to work.  An increasing number of Americans who have worked hard and played by the rules are now finding themselves with no job, no savings and no support.  We must not abandon these workers and their families.”  That statement convinced me that you sincerely are one of the few that understand what the unemployed are going through.  You understand that unemployment insurance is critical and should be extended as long as it takes to get Americans back to work.  The cost of not extending unemployment provisions beyond recent attempts until all Americans in need, are back to work will be substantial – in the form of increased foreclosures, less money flowing through communities, and reliance on other public benefits – and will slow down the economic recovery that will bring us jobs. We need jobs that will not place us in the same situation once again, or in low paying jobs that are being offered to replace the higher paying jobs we were laid-off from; or in what ever industry that happens to be hiring at the moment.  We deserve to obtain jobs we can be proud of because we worked hard at building a career.

The fact that keeping the unemployment benefits extended until all Americans are back to work will add to the government’s budget deficit is a mute point. The cost of not providing the small amount of unemployment that I and others are getting just to keep a roof over our head and put food on the table will be substantial – in the form of increased foreclosures, less money flowing through communities, and reliance on other public benefits – and will slow down the economic recovery that will bring us jobs. Until companies stop the streamlining of their operations to incorporate automation, and cut financial corners to keep their bonuses — America will not be back at work and long-term unemployment will continuing to rise.

Relative to the vast complexity and devastation of the unemployed Americans, little media coverage has been made on the subject of long term unemployment.  Most of what has been published or broadcast has been misleading or just inaccurate.  I have attached are a few articles, statements regarding US Job Development, an e-mail and my current resume that are more accurate as to what is reality, and I believe speak for themselves.  In reading what others have documented on unemployment and job development, may help those that don’t understand to understand that it is not the lack of trying that keeps the unemployed from getting a job; and “extending unemployment benefits does not simply encourage those out of work to continue to accept government aid rather than take any job”.  However, it is all the surrounding circumstances that are beyond our control that is keeping us unemployed.  I have attended job fairs and offered to work for free for the first three months in order to prove myself.  All I got from the recruiters were blank stars.

Please be true to your word, “Our first step to respond to long-term unemployment is obvious  — continue the emergency federal unemployment programs to prevent millions of workers from losing their benefits”….and our lives. I do pray that all those that hold the future of all those unemployed will look at the whole economic recovery and make the right decisions that will truly help those that at this moment have little to no control of their own life’s destiny.  Please make sure that millions of struggling Americans do not face continuing joblessness coupled with an end to any benefits — the small income that has kept us afloat so far; until we can find a job that will pay the bills but will not place us in the same situation again.  Keeping our unemployment safety net is more crucial than ever.

I respectfully thank you for your time in advance.

Sincerely,

From MG in in TX:

To Whom it may concern:

My name is MG, and I am currently unemployed.  I worked hard my whole life, but was laid off in February of 2008.  I have not been able to find another job since then.  I have relocated with my family to San Antonio, TX and have been actively looking for employment for about a year.  I have submitted several applications every week but have not received many call backs.

We are a family of 4 living on a single income.  We have young children who currently do not have health insurance because we are “over income” for a family of 4, yet we cannot afford to put them on private insurance.  We are struggling to put food on the table and pay our monthly bills.  We have maxed out the few credit cards we have just to get by from pay check to paycheck.  The time I was receiving unemployment we were getting by just fine, but since I have exhausted my benefits, we are struggling to make ends meet.

I have not given up on looking for a job, but it would be helpful if unemployment benefits could be extended.  I know there are many other families in the same or worse situation as me so I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read my story and take my unemployment extension into consideration.

Thank you,

From AS in PA:

I signed for the last of my Tier IV yesterday, today I am filled with fear of what’s next?  I lost my job of twenty three years to Mexico on July 2nd,2008. I have worked all my life and this is very hard and depressing. Some days are harder than others, but I go on.

I am 63 and no one wants me. I was very good at my job and I felt very good about myself, now I feel like my life is over. No hope of any future. I can’t see how I can keep my house and how do I rent without an income enough to pay the bills there also.

People(Americans) are living in their cars and shelters. This shouldn’t be in America. We build other countries, feed them and give them free medical services. I have no insurance. I couldn’t afford the original Cobra payments, they were almost 600.00$ a month. I applied for medical and food stamps this week. I never in my life had to resort to a handout. If a TIER V would be passed I could continue to try to find work and pay off my bills and maybe stay in my home a little longer.

Thank you for listening

From AN in RI:

I am a 58 year old single college educated woman.  I have been unemployed since November 2007 due to a re-organization in the company I had worked at for 13 years.  I was making $60,000/year and had purchased my first home 3 years previously and had a perfect credit rating.  I have been sending out hundreds of resumes since being laid-off and have had approximately 2 interviews.  I’m sure you can understand that at my age companies are very reluctant to hire me.  I have worked over 40 years and never thought I would be in the situation I now find myself in.  I have lost everything!  I have no savings, have had to use my 401k to pay my mortgage and utilities and now can’t even collect unemployment.  I have nowhere to turn.  So, my “American Dream” along with millions of others has dissipated and will never return.  We will never be able to catch up on what we have lost.

Our government’s priority was to give billions to the big businesses, banks and Wall Street and we, the American people who are desperately suffering have been abandoned.  How sad is this?  Can the politicians making these decisions even remotely understand what they have done to the millions of Americans who have lost everything?  I think not, they will never be in our situation and will never know what it is like to be without a home, food or health care.  The politicians have too much power and money and they think its fun to play their political games with our lives.  The government seems to have plenty of money to help out other countries, but when it comes to helping their own people who are suffering on a daily basis they constantly let us down.

This country has never been in a recession as we have seen in the last 2 years and even though the news media claim the economy is getting better, that is just a hoax to make the American people believe the steps that have been taken are working.  If the real numbers for unemployment were revealed, this includes the people who have fallen off unemployment and still have no jobs and the over 400,000 temporary jobs that were filled for census taken were not counted, then it would show the true disaster of our economy.

Thank you,

From LB in MA:

I did everything I could find a job for the past 17 months but was unable to find one due to my hearing-impairment and employers’ unwillingness to accommodate my disability in job interview and hiring processes. When hiring managers made their hiring decisions, they decided to pass me over for somebody who could use the phone rather than finding ways to accommodate me at work.

Employers who were hiring somebody to fill a job that does not require phone told me they were looking for somebody who had more years of work experience, worked less than two years or had arbitrary standards to screen me out of a job.  In job interviews, hiring managers were too picky to hire me because of economy and asked me difficult situations question instead of looking at my work references and hire me! I had several job interviews two weeks ago and wrote a nice thank you notes to each hiring managers; however, they did not hire me as of today.

I am a client of a vocational rehabilitation program in my state and my vocational counselor placed me in a job placement program.  I also registered with three Career Centers, went to all relevant workshops on how to be a successful job seeker, and attended support group meetings for job seekers.

Although I heard of news that economy is picking up and people are being hired, these good news did not apply to me and I am not a lazy job seeker who used unemployment checks to lay around and be lazy as some misinformed people like to believe.

Oh yeah, I heard of a Congress person (Kathy Dahlkemper, D-PA)  who tried to hire people to work for her office and did not receive much responses. I would like to say one thing. If I live in her district and find a job in her office that does not require the use of phones, I would have applied for a job, and if she is willing to accommodate me when she contacts me for job interviews and is willing to give me a chance to work for him, I would be working for her today!  If she knows of a colleague in greater Boston, MA area who is looking for the same, please tell her to send me an email for a referral.  Please make sure this person is willing to accommodate me and is willing to hire a person with disability.

Please tell employers to start hiring job seekers with disability and change some standards a little so people with disability could get a job and meet their business needs!  And please tell Senators and Congress people to approve of benefit extensions for 99ers and all unemployed people who were unemployed through no faults of their own.  We were not lazy people who failed to find a job!  We were victims of bad economy and greedy people in Wall Street!

From AN in FL:

I live in Florida…I actually am subsisting in Florida.  I was laid off from job in Dec.07 and have spent 99.9% of my life trying to get back to work since then. I am willing to take ANY job but, they are simply none available here in the Venice/Sarasota/Bradenton area.

I have heard that our unemployment rate is 13.3% but the church that I volunteer at so I can obtain free bread and canned goods believe the correct number is about 18%.  We are in serious trouble those of us 99ers.  I have been homeless 3 times in the past several years and am about to become that way again very soon.  I was also “forced” to live in a domestic violence situation because I had no money and no place else to go.  I am a 46 year old female who has lost every possession I have spent the last 25 years working for.  I am down to 2 suitcases of clothes because the storage facility auctioned off my belongings when I fell behind on my unit payment last summer when it took the state of Florida so long to process our retroactive payments.  I have no children and I kind of wished I did because I would be eligible for more government help but since I am single, over the age of 40 and have no dependants, there is simply NO help for me. I am currently out of options and out of hope.

I have put out nearly a 1000 resumes and I have received little to no response and I have a good background and an excellent resume.  And the strange thing is, I worked for the past 17 years in a very desirable field…medical insurance billing and coding.  Why there are none of these jobs available in my area has me completely baffled.

I have tried so hard to remain positive but, I am out of patience, food, options and hope.  I feel like nobody is listening to people like me.  I have always worked hard, paid taxes and voted and now it is if I do not exist in the eyes of anyone, much less my beloved government.

I would love to organize a protest but, I haven’t the money to do so.  I have signed so many petitions, called and written members of the Congress and Senate and I have even e mailed the White House directly again today…What else can I or should I do.  I wish I could tell Congress and the Senate my story directly…perhaps, they would listen to me.  I just want a job so, I can get my own small apartment again, buy a little crummy used car and buy food without having to use food stamps. More than anything, I want my dignity back.

Sincerely,

From DP in FL:

Dear Chairman Jim McDermott and the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support of the Committee on Ways and Means:

I have been unemployed since June 8, 2008, and am now a “99er”*.  On that day we (the employees) discovered that the owner of the real estate title insurance company, where I had worked for 20 years, had emptied all the bank accounts (escrow included) and disappeared.  (Flagler Title Company, in West Palm Beach, FL.)  At the request of our underwriter (CTIC), the company was closed and put under receivership.  There were approximately 30 people still working there and none of us got paid for the last two weeks we had worked, as there was no money left to pay us.  Because of a selfish, greedy boss, I lost my job and now because of selfish, greedy, unscrupulous people on Wall Street, I have been unable to find another job.

I had very little in my 401K, at the time my company was closed, as the option of getting one had only been offered to us about three years earlier.  Had to use these funds to move as the house I was living in was going into foreclosure.  Thank goodness I don’t have any credit cards, but do still have student loans from the late 1990s, which I currently cannot pay.  Can’t even pay the $338.00 income tax due on my unemployment from last year (2009).  I wonder how many others can’t pay either, leaving the government with LESS income to solve the deficit problem?

I received my last unemployment insurance check (99 weeks) on April, 1, 2010, for the weeks of March 14-27, 2010, leaving me with no income at all after that.  Up until then unemployment was paying for my rent, utilities, a few groceries and a little gas for my car (my car, thank God, is paid off, but I can’t afford car insurance) and to buy stamps, envelopes, paper and ink to print resumes and mail them.  My youngest daughter lives in St. Lucie County, FL, with her fiancé and daughter, but they can’t afford to support me while I look for work and they only have a 2-bedroom place so there is no room for me.  My oldest lives in Colorado Springs with her husband.  I can’t afford to move there, let alone buy the whole new wardrobe I would need for the colder climate.  As far as that goes, they have been there since Sept. 2007 and she was just able to find a job herself a couple of weeks ago (she was not collecting unemployment).  Thank goodness her husband had a decent job before they moved there!  Now it wouldn’t make much sense for me to move from someplace where it is hard to find a job to another place where it is also hard to find a job, would it?

I have close to 40 years of clerical/secretarial experience and have applied for hundreds of jobs (gave up counting applications a long time ago) and not just clerical, but retail jobs, and even jobs I knew I didn’t have all the “qualifications” for.  Hoping that one of them would give me a chance to prove myself.  Usually don’t even get a “thank you for your interest” reply.  Sometimes I’ve wondered if they even received my application/resume. A few times I have gotten “thank you but we picked someone with more experience”.  What?  More experience – you mean you picked someone older than me?  I doubt that!

Since I am not there to see and hear what is said and done, while the prospective employer is looking through resumes/applications, I cannot swear that my age (58 next month) or the fact that I am unemployed, is the reason why I’m not getting interviews or replies.  But I am making an educated assumption that those are the reasons, as I know several of the younger people I used to work with have gotten jobs since Flagler was closed, been laid off from them and were still able to find another job.

I did get a call for a State of Florida job in a different county (Sumter), but when I called back, found out they wanted someone who could start immediately, because they had spent almost a

month going through 100+ applications for that one job.  Since I would have had to take the time to relocate, my name was taken off the interview list.  Would have been a great job if I had gotten it, but didn’t even get the chance to try!

Had one other interview at Wal-Mart but was never called back for the second interview (they say they do two, before deciding who to hire).  When I called them back, I was advised they were not doing any hiring at that time.  Those are the only two job offers I have received in almost two years.  Finally around the middle of this May, after re-applying 4-5 times, I got a call from Publix Super Markets and was hired for a part-time cashier job (no more than 20 hours a week, but 20 hours NOT guaranteed).  However, at this particular store their clientele is mostly “seasonal”.  The “season”, in Florida, ends around Mother’s Day.  So now I am lucky if I get 11-15 hours a week.  This most certainly does not pay my rent nor pay for much else.

Recently I’ve found out that employers are not even considering the unemployed for hires.  Their excuses range from:

“If they (the unemployed job applicant) were that good, they would not have been let go”, to the unbelievable “we are tired of getting too many unemployed applicants so we wish to concentrate on stealing good help away from our competitors”.

Also: “Recruitment experts say many companies believe it could take longer to get ‘passive applicants’ up to speed in professions that require constant training. They also say people who have not been laid off are believed to be the best and most valuable in the fields, reports ClickOrlando.com”.

Very shocking!  I say, “If the company is closed down, which a lot were, it doesn’t matter how “good or valuable” you were – you’re gone – along with everybody else!  Also some companies get rid of the highest paid employee’s first cause it saves them more money, and they don’t have to lay off as many of the lower income people so can keep the “production” lines going.  After all production is what makes the company money.

While receiving unemployment I was unable to get food stamps, because, according to them, I made too much money on unemployment, to qualify for food stamps.  Since I stopped receiving unemployment I was able to get an “emergency issue” of food stamps for only five months and will have to reapply for them in Sept.  However, can’t pay my rent with food stamps

I was served with a 3-day notice, by my landlord, at the end of April, prior to starting eviction proceedings because I couldn’t pay them for the last two weeks in April.  If evicted I will have to live out of my little Hyundai Accent and would have lost all my possessions because I don’t have money for a storage room.  Luckily I was able to find a program (HUD HRE) which “helps the homeless or those threatened to become homeless soon”, to help me with my rent.  However, they only do it for three months and you have to be approved for the first month then re-evaluated for the second and third months.  I have already “used up” two of the months and only have one left.  If I can’t find another job in the next couple of weeks I will still be facing eviction.  My landlords are really nice people, but they have a mortgage on this duplex and need the rent to pay that.  So I can’t blame them.  I am really scared of the possibility of having to live out of my car, because I am a female and the car windows would need to be open, at night, since it is very hot in Florida during the summer.  Don’t even know where I would be able to park my car where it would be safe, can’t afford a camp ground site!  And without a refrigerator I would not be able to purchase “perishables”, with or without food stamps!  I do have a small charcoal grill I could cook on but charcoal, coolers and ice costs money.

I don’t know about other states, but in Florida, there is very little help for you, financially or otherwise, if you don’t have dependent children living home (18 or younger or 19 if still in secondary school), you aren’t disabled or you aren’t at least 62 years old.  You can’t even get Medicaid.  So right now I don’t have health insurance. I wasn’t able to get COBRA, because the group policy, where I used to work, was canceled June 1, 2008.  You have to have an active policy in order to get COBRA.  Section 8 housing, in Martin County is full, they aren’t even taking applications right now, and the low income housing apartments they offer have a five year waiting list.

I honestly would rather be working and supporting myself, this is something that I have done since I graduated from high school and moved into my own apartment and also after I was divorced in 1985, with two children to take care of as well.  I am NOT lazy as many unknowledgeable people claim the long term unemployed are!  I would even rather be able to collect my Social Security, instead of having to depend upon unemployment!  At least that would be a “definite” income instead of a “maybe”, even though it would be a lower amount than I was getting through unemployment.  However, I can’t even consider that for a little over four more years.  This “not knowing” whether or not I’m going to have money for rent and food, or if I will be able to find a job in time to keep from being evicted is very frustrating and very stressful.

Frankly I am very disappointed and disgusted with everyone in Congress right now, I don’t give a darn what “party” you are a member of, I don’t intend to vote for any incumbent in November!   I am sick and tired of the bickering just to “show who’s the boss” and the needy of AMERICA being ignored while the needy of other countries are getting billions in hand outs, even though the money goes to their corrupt governments and will never be seen by those, in their countries, who need it the most!

Economists are telling you that you need to get people back to work and the economy “flowing” before you can even consider balancing the budget and getting rid of the deficit, since working people spend money and pay taxes, non-working people cannot.  When there are more people working and paying taxes you will have much more money to whittle away at the deficit!  They will be buying so businesses will hire more, more purchases mean more sales taxes which will help the states as well, so they don’t have to borrow from the federal government.  Sometimes you have to go into debt to “get the ball rolling” and start making profits.  Just look at Bill Gates (Microsoft),  Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (founders of Apple) and other entrepreneurs who have made it.  They all went way into debt, spending their savings, borrowing money from others and maxing out their credit cards, before finally getting their corporations up and running, for profit.  (After all, America is a large “for profit” corporation, just like their companies are.)

Also economists, the CBO and the BLS all say that unemployment insurance payments help the

economy.  For every $1.00 of unemployment paid, anywhere from $1.63 to $1.90 is returned to the economy in the form of purchases or payments to companies. (groceries, electric, water, etc.)  So how can that possibly be bad or wrong?  The economy is getting more “bang for the buck” with unemployment payments than they are from the moneyless long term unemployed, the health care bill AND the bailouts to Wall Street! I thought that was the government’s goal, to get the economy rolling again.

All of you know, as well as I do, that there just aren’t enough available jobs for everyone who is unemployed and needs one, nor are enough “new” jobs being created fast enough to fill that void, and it is reported that it will be quite a few more years before there will be enough.  So please tell me, exactly what, the long term unemployed are supposed to do, in the meantime, to take care of themselves and their families with NO income at all until enough jobs are again available in three, four, five or more years?

Long term unemployed Americans and the American economy need a Tier V or more weeks added to Tier IV, at least through the end of the year, since the projected estimates say that things are not going to be that much better by the end of this year.

As we get nearer to the end of the year and see how things are progressing, then another decision can be made and hopefully BEFORE things get to the point where unemployment has run out again and people end up, once more, with nothing at all left to live on for months at a time and still no job prospects!

In the meantime lenders need to be pushed to loan money to businesses and individuals, to help jump start the economy, as they are not doing this now.  Instead they are lending and trading to each other, holding the profits in their coffers in order to make it look like their companies are doing better and enabling them to keep their ridiculously large salaries and bonuses.

Frankly I am very upset with, and feel cheated by, the wealthy bankers and hedge fund types who have abused the taxpayers by paying ungodly bonuses and THEN accepting billions in bailouts from the taxpayers just to use that money for still MORE ungodly bonuses and making their businesses look good, instead of making loans to individuals and businesses to help jump start the economy!

And we need JOBS!  Companies are not going to start hiring if there is no business to create profits, no matter how many tax incentives they are offered! Why should they hire someone and pay them a salary, pay into unemployment and match Social Security (even a portion of it) and whatever else companies have to pay per employee, just to have them sitting around staring at the walls, which is what the new employee would be doing with no business to create work for them to do.  Personally, I wouldn’t want a job where there is nothing to do all day but sit around feeling useless!  I prefer to work for my salary!

Production and manufacturing need to be supported and encouraged.  Companies also need to be discouraged, in some way, from sending jobs overseas.  American workers may also have to come to the realization that they will have to take less pay then they used to make, but it should still be a living wage (not minimum, which I don’t see how anybody can live on that), i.e. instead of $75,000.00 per year, they may have to take $60,000.00 or $65,000.00.  Actually I think a majority of the long term unemployed have already come to this realization!

Education also needs to be supported.  Too many teachers are being laid off and schools closed down causing severe crowding in already over crowded classes!  This situation and homelessness is seriously hurting the current generation of American children!  We need to take care of the “here and now”, so that there will be more people better able to take care of the future generations!

Human resources and prospective employers need to be re-educated about the benefits of hiring the older worker.  Older workers are more dedicated, honest, responsible, dependable, loyal, focused, organized and mature.  (You may check out this link, if you’d like to see the 12 benefits of hiring older workers:  http://www.entrepreneur.com/humanresources/hiring/article167500.html).

But most of all, the long term unemployed, who have none or only partial income,  need to be helped and NOW, until more jobs come back.  They have nothing left, even their hope is disappearing.

For myself and all the other long term unemployed in America (99ers*), I pray that you do something quickly to help us until we can find new jobs.  Thank you.

Sincerely,

*“99er” – a person who has reached the end of whatever Tier of federal unemployment was offered in their state and no longer have any unemployment to claim and have still been unable to find a job.  Most now have no income whatsoever.  Some have been able to find part-time or piecemeal work, that does not pay their bills.  Many are now living in tents, in their cars or on the street searching in dumpsters and garbage cans for food.

From PL in TX:

To Congress:

My position was eliminated in September of 2008.  I have worked since I was 15 years old, paid for my own college education, got a full time job immediately upon graduation even though the pay was only $12,000 a year.  That was 33 years ago.  Through hard work and persistence I was able to move forward with a successful career that allowed me to buy a home, pay taxes, get married and have 3 children.

I am not extravagant in my spending, nor have I ever been.  I do not own a home or a car any longer.  I now live day to day looking for jobs that do not exist.  In the past 22 month I have applied for over 505 jobs from something in my field to grocery clerk.  My former associates are working longer hours and scared to death they will lose their own positions.  These are good people that work for fortune 500 companies that do not care about quality, they care about Wall Street and their golden parachutes, just like Congress.

Companies have flown me to Tampa, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego, Minneapolis, Memphis, yet the positions remain unfilled.   Two weeks ago I had a telephone interview where the HR recruiter actually told me that while they were interviewing, they were not hiring as they were in a hiring freeze.  It is common knowledge that the majority of jobs advertised are only there because the company will lose the requisition if they don’t leave it open, but they have no intention of filling these positions.  Lest you believe that I am above working for Target,  Lowe’s, Safeway, etc…check your attitude, I’ve applied at all of them.

Through my heavy networking, I have also discovered that employers now do not want to hire the long term unemployed.  They are hiring current workers who have big rolodexes, if they can persuade them to leave there current employer.  So now, the long term unemployed are labeled as undesirable.  Congress has abandoned us as well.

I have2 weeks of unemployment left, which was never enough to cover rent and utilities and I am 2 months from being homeless.  I am maintaining a positive attitude and persevering despite the fact that Congress and Nancy Pelosi have turned their backs on those of us who need help the most.  I have LIVED physcal responsibility all my life, not just recently.  Taxpayer’s money was spent on ramming healthcare reform through and now approved $150mm on trying to sell it to us again, money is being sent overseas to help foreign governments,  $60 billion being sent to fund the military.  I am too old for the military to even consider me.  There is no such thing as a “jobless recovery”.  We are not in recovery, and it will only get worse for those of us that have paid taxes for years and are now left to twist in the wind.  Please explain to my children why they will have no place to sleep and nothing to eat.  We don’t need a war on US soil, Congress has instigated warzone, all the while making sure that they get a raise every year.

From CM in CA:

I have been unemployed since June 26, 2008.  I am 61 years old with 31 years of working at the same company before I was let go.  I was terminated involuntarily after returning to work from three days in the hospital (TIA as a result of working conditions) and two weeks on disability.  Three days after I returned to work, I received a phone call from my manager who lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa saying I was terminated.  On the day I was to return to work from a vacation day, I was admitted to the hospital.  I had requested a vacation and had received an e-mail telling that I would be the only person packing books, binders and files for a departmental move to another floor and I complained.  After all this time I still I am still in shock and wondering why I was terminated because I never got a satisfactory answer from management or Human Resources.  The Human Resource Manager in Los Angeles mysteriously took early retirement about three months later and the firing manager was demoted out of management four months after I left.

The stress from thinking about not having the answers to why I lost my job, hoping I don’t end up back in the hospital (blood pressure being high because since going to hospital I’m on blood pressure medication), thinking about having money to pay the basic necessities of life, being unemployed for this long and not being able to find a job keeps me up all night.  During this time of not sleeping, I am on the computer checking my messages with the different job sites that I have registered, posted and sent my resume to and checking the unemployment job site that I had to register on (caljobs.ca.gov).  I have seen the sun rise a lot lately.  It’s not healthy but what can you do when you have so much on your mind.  And when I do get to sleep I wake up every two to three hours.

I started out in 1977 in the Word Processing Department and after two years promoted to an Executive Secretary with having working knowledge of word processing skills.  I was also a senior transcriber (dictation from cassette) and with the title change in corporate America became an Administrative Assistant.  In those days on the job training was the best training you could get from the older or more experienced workers in that particular department.  In my recent experience in looking for employment today in the workforce seems like you don’t need older workers with knowledge but younger workers with BA degrees or you have to be bi-lingual which I have neither.  These jobs are not technical jobs but the same jobs I did when I started as Executive Secretary in Actuarial, Information Technology, Auditing and Contract Development.  I didn’t need a Bachelors Degree or speak another language except English (which was a must) but with working knowledge of the administrative skills and the opportunity, I was able to work in each of these different areas of one company.

On August 18, 2008 I attended the EDD Initial Assistance Workshop (IAW) which was supposed to provide me with reemployment services information.  The service was supposed to help me plan my job search and shorten my time I remained out of work.  Through this workshop I ended up attending Inglewood Community Adult School (WIA Program) for math skill building starting on September 29, 2008 to November 20, 2008.  My math skills were a little low after being tested and if I wanted to attend school through the WIA program and pass any entrance exam test I would have to upgrade my math skills.

At South Bay One Stop Business & Resource Center on September 2, 2008 I inquired about the SER’s Senior Community Service Program (SER-JOBS FOR PROGRESS NATIONAL, INC), funded by the U.S. Department of labor on June 2, 2008.  They focused on the needs of mature workers 55 years or more for unsubsidized jobs in the private sector through training in community based organizations.  I met the age qualifications, the income qualifications and the resident of the county qualification but was told that I was overqualified according to my resume.  They told me to leave my resume in case other opportunities came but have heard nothing.

I took advantage of the Workforce Incentive Act (WIA) training program being offered at the Resource Center and went to school for Medical Record Coder.  It was a nine month course including a two week internship that ended up lasting a year (January 26, 2009 to January 31, 2010).  During this time I used all my UI benefits and extensions.  I was not advised upon signing up for this training program that it would be taking away from my regular UI benefits.  My benefits were stopped and started four different times for a month at a time for phone interviews to verify going to school even though you could only go to an approved government WIA training programs.  Now that I have finished the training and completed two weeks of internship, I found out that no one will hire you unless you have two years of prior experience and a certification (CCA or CCS) that cost around $350.00 to even be considered for a job in that field.  Money for school is advertised all over the media, e-mails and advertisements to change your career into a new growing profession which was supposed to be the Health jobs.  But with no prior experience I can’t apply for those jobs and I have wasted a year and half of UI benefits which includes the Workshop that I had to attend that led to the WIA training.  After finding out about not being able to be considered for hire as a medical record coder, I started applying for jobs at my old profession as Administrative Assistant.  I had one phone interview in response to an Admin job but never heard back from them.

I would have been out on the streets by now with my car repossed and wouldn’t be able to get to a job if it wasn’t for the 4th Tier.  The 4th Tier has saved my life thus far and a 5th Tier would help keep me from going from unemployed to homeless.  When I signed up to go to school I didn’t know I would be using up all my UI benefits.  I am able, qualified and willing to work now.  If jobs are coming back like they say they are, then why not have Tier 5 to give people the opportunity to continue to look for work.  I have been crying, praying and sending out resumes.  I don’t sleep at night and when I do I wake up every two hours worrying about my situation that I was put in through no fault of my own.  I am living on the bare necessities of life and soon I won’t be able to afford them.

I AM SCARED.  PLEASE HELP US.

From SE in CA:

Dear Senator McDermott,

This is my first time ever writing to a Senator, but I feel that is very important that you and other politicians really need to hear the voice of the people.  I am a 43 year old single mother of three children, and have worked since the age of 16.  I worked as an Administrative Assistant and was laid off in December 2008, due to lack of funding and budget cuts.  I have DELIGENTLY looked for employment, and although I have had several interviews nothing has prevailed for me. I am willing to work for less money, as a matter of fact most of the jobs I have applied to are paying less.

I have moved into a less expensive house, and have had to cut back in every possible way imaginable.  I have just received my last unemployment check, and do not know what I am going to do, where I am going to live, or how I am going to be able to provide for my three children, at no fault of my own. I exhausted my 401k before even applying for unemployment hoping that I would be able to find a job.   I wrote Congressman Buck McKeon, and explained to him the importance of extending unemployment benefits beyond 99 weeks, he wrote me back and basically told me there are jobs and get one!

I have been reading several articles stating that both Republicans and Democrats seem to believe that 99 weeks is long enough to be unemployed, but there are no jobs created  for the millions of Americans who are unemployed and still out of work.  I don’t understand how you can take a recess or a vacation and not make sure the Americans that are unemployed will be able to receive a check to provide basic necessities for their family.  I  have read many horror stories about Americans who have exhausted all benefits and do not have any source of income.  They have medications that they cannot purchase, and no way of going to their doctor’s appointment due to not having money for transportation.  What about the Americans who are 50 or older that are having trouble getting employment because employers are able to hire college graduates or younger people and pay them less?

Americans that have worked like myself for 20, 30 or 40 plus years and at no fault of their own they lost their jobs.  Our elected officials  tell them that after working all of those years 99 weeks of unemployment is enough. How dare them, and shame on them!  I really hope and pray that you make a stand for the American people by extending unemployment not just for 99 weeks, but until Congress can create the jobs that were taken from us. Please consider adding Tier V, and thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

From LS from MN:

Title of Hearing:  Hearing on Responding to Long-Term Unemployment

This is my story being unemployed for the past two years.  I have always been an independent woman working since the age of 16 being responsible and raising a son on my own who will be 19 years old coming up in August 2010.

I was let go from my company on May 27, 2008 and still no job in sight.  I no longer have been eligible for any unemployment benefits since February 16, 2010.  I have had no income since that time.  It is June 11, 2010 now and still no job insight and no income.  The last 4 months depleted my savings because of zero income.  Being unemployed has created a tremendous hardship financially and emotionally.

I no longer was able to make my house payment of approximately $500/month.  I have had the mortgage for 17 years with never a late payment.  Doesn’t sound like much, but when you run totally out of money you cannot even pay the smallest payment.  This is the first time I have been harassed by my mortgage company and it isn’t any fun when you tell them over and over again that you are unable to make the payment.  Your self-esteem is shot down while bills keep piling up.

I have searched for a job extensively.  In the interview process, being an administrative assistant, they first call to give you a telephone interview, if you pass that, you receive a first physical interview, if you pass that, you receive a second physical interview and then you wait to see if you landed the job, while consistently applying for new open job postings.  I have been told they receive 200 – 400 or more resumes for each single job that has been posted.  I have tried for many jobs outside of my field as well, but because I have had no experience in that particular area I was not considered as they had more than enough candidates who have experience looking for a job.

I am an older woman who lost her job at the age of 49 and I am now 51.  I have applied for at least a minimum of 3000 jobs in two years time.  I feel fortunate to have received interviews, but it doesn’t change the fact that I haven’t been given a job offer.

So, not only being reduced to poverty, this situation has caused me to develop high stress and anxiety wondering whether I will ever land a job.  Also, you really find out who your friends are as so many people abandon you because you are not successful and refuse to believe that you haven’t been able to get hired.  People that are not in the situation have no idea or concept as to how bad it is to land a job in today’s economic situation.

Being from Minnesota, Minnesota did not qualify for Tier IV either.  I am no longer in the count for unemployment statistics either.  So, the answer to the question, should there be a Tier V for all long-term unemployment individuals.  The answer is definitely “YES”.


From RT in RI:

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to tell you how the people of this country are struggling this is my story.  I am one of the 99ers that unemployment has ended for.  I have 5 kids one of them is an adult child.  The next one is due to graduate this year from high school.  Not only can I not afford to send them to college.  I am facing eviction soon since I cannot pay my rent since unemployment has ended for me.

I have always worked and never been on unemployment at 41 this was a first for me.  I have a college education and many skills to bring to a company.  I still have been unable to find a job.  When I went on unemployment I had to move my family into a small apartment where we could pay rent since the rent for my other home was too high to afford.  I have spent money and time everyday looking for employment including but not limited to working for Mcdonalds or Burger King.  Having an older woman is not their ideal employee.

Age seems to be working against me when they can hire the younger people for a lower rate.  I have not been picky about applying for jobs that are much lower paying than what I had and yet still have not found employment.  I have never in my life experienced not being able to find a position to be able to support my family or even myself.  I paid into unemployment for years without ever using it and now when I need it most I am unable to get the help I need.

We will be homeless soon since I don’t have the money to pay for the rent on my home which is as cheap as I can get.  My  phone will be turned off soon since I cannot afford to pay that either which means finding a job will be even harder.  Help my family before we loose it all.  A homeless shelter is not someplace I want to bring my children but we will be in one if there is even room before July.

I am greatful to see that the job openings have gone from 1 column to at least a page of openings now it is a sign that things are changing.  But, just because I happened to be one of the people who was unemployed first doesn’t mean I will be the one to get hired first.  WE NEED HELP.  Personally we spend more money on helping other countries that we do for our own.  I think we need to help our own before we don’t have the capabilities to even help ourselves.  Please look at the real stories we are hurting and broke and have gone without even on unemployment.  We would have been on it if there was jobs out there to work for.  Ask us to donate out time while we are on it work for the government while we on it create something productive from this.  But help us none the less.

From TF in MN:

My company Ferrania Technologies closed up shop in February, 2008. I applied for unemployment in March, 2008 in the dislocated worker program. No big deal worked 19 years at Control Data/Ceridian/General Dynamics aerospace divisions from 1980 to 1999. In/out of manufacturing jobs from 1999, located a job shortly after 9/11, found jobs, applied, interviewed with a hundred people and was hired. No problem! College degree, 25 plus years in manufacturing, college & a strong interviewer!!

Then the nightmare’s began lost my job, foreclosed my house, our losing tanning business closed up in February, 2010. Sent resumes out weekly, hundreds, for any type of job from minimum wage on up. Few phone interview’s, even fewer interviews Why?? No jobs, poor economy, now aged to 56, under qualified for few new manufacturing jobs requiring Apics certificate orCPIM. Living on food stamps, wife’s reduced weekly hours & from $60,000 yearly to $920 per month before taxs!!!!

PLEASE HELP WITH TIER V, FEDERAL JOBS BEFORE I LOSE ALL HOPE OF WORKING/LIVING. ONLY THING THAT KEEPS ME GOING IS MY FAMILY & FAITH IN GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From CM in PA:

Please provide the long term unemployed who have exhausted their benefits additional weeks or a Tier V.  We are in dire need.

I will turn 57 years old this month. I am in that most vulnerable group of unemployed who are “too young to retire, too old to hire.”  Many of us have had to use any retirement savings to make ends meet and we will never be able to recover financially from long unemployment – that is if we are able to at least keep what we haven’t get lost.  I have not had any income since March when I exhausted my benefits in PA.  My unemployment was the only income that I had and with that help I was able to pay my bills – it was a lifeline.  Since March, I missed two loan (home mortgage) payments and this month will be the third.   I have no other means of income, no job prospects and am a single woman, 56 yrs old and no one to go to for help.

July 1999, I moved back to my childhood home in PA from NYC where I had been living and working.  Just after my dad passed away in November 1997, my mom had two serious falls, one she fractured her wrist & had to have surgery and was in a cast for several months and the second she suffered compressed fractures of the spine & again was hospitalized and in a back brace.  I moved home because it was getting more and more difficult for her to manage alone.  Although she suffers from osteoarthritis her mind is sharp and I did not want to see her living in a nursing home where I believe the quality of the last years of her life would be diminished. With no wealth and a fixed income, the option of me moving home was the best. I was able to find a good job relatively easily and was employed full time with benefits beginning September of 1999.  For 5 and ½ years I commuted 90 mi RT to Pittsburgh. I was able to make contributions to a 401K and buy a used car.  I was employed as a Departmental Administrative Assistant for a high technology firm in a Research Facility supporting PhDs from all over the world.  During my time with this company, my mother continued to have falls, broke a hip, broke her pelvis, had several surgeries and was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease and underwent Chemotherapy.  We have no immediate family so the burden falls upon me.  I spent 15 hrs a week commuting, working a full time job, taking care of the home (inside and out), cooking, shopping etc. and was my mother’s caretaker.  I mention this to show that I am a responsible, hard working person and not a bum like some would like to paint the unemployed to be.  When the position ended there was no extended unemployment, just the regular 6 months UI benefits and the recession had started kicking in.  I was not able to find work for 14 months.  I send hundreds of resumes and applied for as many jobs, I was signed up with every temporary employment agency in the area and made it a full time job to look for employment in and out of PA.   I had good references and excellent skills and experience yet I received no offers of work not even for a week temp job!  I couldn’t even get part time work doing anything. All of the interviews that I went on I was either overqualified for or was interviewed by someone who was at least 15 years younger than myself – as were most of the employees.  I finally secured a temporary administrative assistant position with a major employer in the area at one of their locations to replace someone on sick leave.  I was there for about 5 weeks & luckily during that time I found a permanent job in Pittsburgh beginning July 6.  I was the Education Coordinator for the firm and I enjoyed the job very much. I worked at this position for 1 ½ years. The company was sold and my position was eliminated.  I have not had any luck finding a job since. I believe that in addition to the economic downturn, I have experience a great deal of ageism.  I have send hundreds of resumes, applied to hundreds of companies as well as being registered with temp agencies. I have not been able to find work or earn any income.

During my first long unemployment I had to cash in my 401K to make ends meet (remember I had not unemployment benefits after 6 months).  Over the past 2 years, I have had periods of no income and have had no work or income since March 2010.  I managed to keep a good credit rating but now that is not the case having missed 2 home loan payments with another coming due in 14 days.  My mother and I are living off of her fixed income which consists of Social Security and a very small pension that my dad provided of under $300/month.  We were not able to pay our spring property taxes.  I have no health insurance and my car is 10 years old (I bought it second hand) and over 128,000 miles.  I need new brakes and tires for the next inspection.  My mother is house bound now and severely crippled by arthritis. She also had a heart attack the summer of 2008 and at 90 years old, she is very frail and fragile but still has a good mind. I will not put her in a nursing home while she is so lucid especially since we have no money we wouldn’t have much input on a facility.  As I mentioned, I maintain the home, inside and out, do all cooking, shopping, etc.  Living 45 miles SE of Pittsburgh, the commute to the city is long and expensive and many employers use this as a reason for not hiring me. In addition to where I live (once a prosperous manufacturing and steel town now depressed and a shadow of its former self) I have several strikes against me – age and long period of unemployment.  I also have no health insurance and that is scary.  My dad died of colon cancer and I am unable to afford a colonoscopy.  In a way, it doesn’t matter because without health insurance I couldn’t afford treatment anyway.

My hope is that my mother can live out most of her natural life in the home she lived in since 1953 when I was 2 months old.  She is surrounded by her things, her cats and a quiet environment and feels safe and secure here.  She would not do well in a nursing home environment as she is a very private and solitary sole.  In the beginning I did apply for jobs in other states thinking I could somehow manage commuting on weekends. That is now out of the question for many reasons and besides, I don’t have the resources to relocate and keep mom at home.  I have researched work at home jobs but haven’t been able to find anything that matches my skills & their needs.  I have applied to all the employers including colleges in the area but being a small town, I believe it’s who you know that gets you a job and beside there is little to no opportunity here.  I am beyond hopeless and discouraged and now totally stressed and depressed.  I don’t know what will happen when I default on the home loan – I guess I will lose the equity in my home – the only thing I have left.  I don’t know what I will do when my car finally dies as I live in an area that is car dependent. We have no family to go to for help.  It’s just the two of us.

My parents both lived during the Great Depression.  Actually my mom’s family lived next door to the late Congressman John Murtha’s family and they became friends.  My dad was one of 11 children and one of the older boys born to Italian immigrants. He was one of the first in our town to enlist during World War II.  He served for 5 years and came back and worked at a local manufacturing plant, Latrobe Die Casting. until he retired. During the time my dad was in the service, his father died. He didn’t marry immediately so when he returned from the war, he immediately went to work and his salary went to provide for his mother & younger siblings.

My mother went to work when I was in second grade so I could attend a private school and get a good education. She worked for a local dentist.  So as you see, I came from a family who knew hard times and the value of work.  I get so offended when people refer to the unemployed as lazy.  I physically outwork every woman I know and am a jack of all trades.  I do it all except electrical.

I need help to get by until the job situation improves.  I realize that the odds of me finding a job this year remain bleak.  I will never be able to recover from the hole I am in but at least while receiving unemployment I was able to pay my bills and some of the stress was eliminated.  I dare not think too much about the dire straits I am in.  I am a victim and there isn’t much I can do to change my circumstance. My future is bleak.  I have written so many letters to my Senators, other Congressional members, the President, media and advocated for unemployment through social media. I am burnt out from all of this which basically amounts to a lot of wasted time and energy. It is emotionally draining and to not have a voice is beyond frustrating. I can sometimes feel the stress hormones raging through my body and I know my health is suffering.  I can’t afford to visit my dentist or eye doctor for regular check-ups.  Everything gets compiled, late fees are incurred, health deteriorates, etc.  Why my government chooses to ignore me and others who are in dire need of help is beyond reason, it is morally wrong.  We are made to beg for help yet two wars were financed with my tax money.  The vast sums of money spend on defense and the wars, support for other countries, tax cuts to the wealthy and money paid to subcontractors in Iraq, and wasteful spending yet Congress bickers about helping their own people who are jobless through no fault of their own?  Actually, some of the fault is with the same folks opposed to benefits for the unemployed are the same ones who supported the last administrations failed policies that put us here. It is reprehensible. It’s our country too yet we seem to have little impact on anything anymore.  Congress doesn’t listen to us.  They live in a bubble that is Washington and there is too much influence from special interests and too many decisions made to get reelected.  The word hardship only applies to others as most will never know the concept. This is wrong.  You take care of your own first!  How can this country ever recover if people aren’t working and contributing?  Now isn’t the time to be overly concerned with deficit. Now is the time to get people back to work & in the meantime help those who through no fault of their own are jobless.  Don’t let us slide into poverty.  I am sure there are some deadbeats but I believe you won’t find that among those of us who are over 50.  At the very least, I think Congress needs to take a look at that segment of the long term unemployed.  We are a group within a group.  The younger workers will survive and have plenty of time to recoup but not the over 50 worker.  And people like me who are single – can you imagine? And take into account many of us are caregivers for our elderly parents.  It would cost the gov’t a lot more if I put my mom in a nursing home.  Too much time has passed with nothing being done to alleviate the pain of being unemployed, too little has been done to create jobs, and it is wrong to be ignored and tossed aside by our lawmakers.  Why Congress seems to think this is not a priority is beyond rational thinking.  Seed money for start-ups can go a long way in creating jobs.  Getting people back to work and until there are plans in motion, we need help. I have never asked anyone for help and I find myself pleading with Congress now. The older worker needs some protections. As it is now, we have nothing. Even job retraining is sort of a moot point for many of us because we are highly skilled experienced workers.  Where are the tax cuts to hire the older unemployed worker?  Many employers don’t even want the unemployed to apply.  And this is a big country and we all can’t live in the same place so telling people to relocate is kind of irrational as well.  What are we supposed to do if we own a home and can’t sell it?  Where do we get the money to move? What do we do with our elderly parents if we are caretakers? And what guarantees do we have is we would relocate? We could be out of a job in 6 months and then what?

If Congress doesn’t act soon to add additional time or another Tier for those who have exhausted all benefits, many of us will be done for good.   I am positive there are ways to fund this extension.  Not one penny should be spent on any programs until we get help that we need in the form of additional unemployment benefits. Where is the unemployment money the IRS mismanaged and put into general funds?  Why aren’t the responsible for paying us back?  And to the Republicans who are screaming about the deficit, I am repulsed. Many voted to fund two wars that are costing our country a fortune.  How dare they be so arrogant! And to those in Congress who voted for tax cuts for the wealthy – you owe the jobless an apology for your failed policies and that of the last administration that led to this mess.

Any benefits the unemployed receive are used immediately and grow the economy.  We use it to pay for goods and services. Every economist agrees that unemployment is a form of economic stimulus.  It is mere greed and misguided thinking to deny us help citing deficit reduction.

I also would like to add that you need to do the right thing and do it fast.  We need jobs, we need tax incentives for hiring the unemployed over 50, tax cuts for the wealthy need to end now and special incentives must be put into place to hire the unemployed! We spend an ungodly amount on defense in this country to protect the citizens yet you fail to protect the citizens by not helping the unemployed. We can’t have a country of have and have not’s – it will cease to be America.  Furthermore, there will be more jobs lost due to the lost of unemployment benefits. By not putting those funds back into the economy, the local grocery store and other service providers will earn less and more jobs lost. The countries will lose our property taxes and state’s social programs will be stressed as well.  It doesn’t make any sense to use the unemployed as a pawn.  We need help now.

Thank you for much for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Please visit Rochester Unemployment Examiner to review unemployment information, data and details that you don’t find in the main stream media. You can also add comments about your current situation and what you think needs ot be done to improve the job market and unemployment benefits system. I hope to see you there.

*Due to issues such as software compatibility, the letters posted here may contain some minor formatting edits to improve readability.

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17 Comments to “Tier 5 and extended unemployment benefits: letters to Congress from the long-term unemployed (Part 6)”

  1. sally says:

    I have been layoff since 2008.
    and everytime when we more benefits.there is alway a problem;
    But if the shoe was on the other foot then there would more of a push to fund the congress to get what they want.
    But just remember the voters can change that in a heart beat
    so the next you guys need some thing remember the you guys let us down when you there are no jobs here for us. and when I am
    too youg to socialsecurty. and with no more benefits where can I go.

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by CMar, CMar, sharon , layofflist, layofflist and others. layofflist said: – http://clicky.me/lMG [...]

  3. [...] June 19, 2010 at 9:44 AM (Uncategorized) (joblessness) to write the House Ways and Means Committee and tell them of their plight of dealing with long-term joblessness. I had sent them a letter a couple of weeks ago. This link has some letters that were sent to the committee and shared by the writers. [...]

  4. AHNFL says:

    To read the stories from the previous writers I see a “common denominator” SO MANY individuals over the age of 30!! Government needs to open their eyes and see the ABSOLUTE DISCRIMINATION that is going on!

    I have been out of a job for over one year. I still qualify for two more tiers, however, that doesn’t look like it’s going to be approved because of our politicians!

    I thank God everyday that my parents have been there for me. Living with them has kept a roof over my head! I have nothing left, my credit is ruined now. I am 49 years old and have no where to go. I’m overqualified for positions according to many responses I’ve received. How can corporate America honestly think that I’m going to run to the next higher paying job when the opportunity arises? Get a grip folks!

    It’s absolutely pitiful what is happening to our country! And the bailed out banks have created the biggest turmoil! Please find a way to help out our country, it’s going downhill fast. Politicians have totally turned their backs on us! Not a SINGLE comment has been made of this issue in our area’s newspapers in over two weeks! Out of sight, out of mind, huh!

  5. Cris says:

    What on earth is the logical justification for an unemployment bill that only extends the deadline for the existing tiers thru Dec 2010???
    If there is a consensus that the job market is still bad for those qualifying for tier 1,2,3 or 4 thru the end of the year, shouldn’t logic dictate that the job market is equally bad for those who already exhausted all benefits???
    Come on, people! Get a clue! Get informed. Get the REAL numbers and facts about who’s hiring whom, how many full-time versus part-time jobs there are, how much age discrimination is going on, etc.
    I heard the excuse that the long term unemployed lose their skills. Really….Some of us HAD no special skills before, so it’s irrelevant. Even more of us have skills, higher skills and many years of experience. You’re trying to tell us that we forgot how to talk, use the phone, fax, type, use office software, do simple bookkeeping??? These are the so called recovery jobs out there. Along with tons of spam and job postings requiring a degree and very diverse skill sets(from customer service to web design?!) bundled into ‘Admin’ for $10.00/hr.
    And what happened to companies investing in training their people and new hires. ANY training??
    This recession allows companies to keep using ruthless practices and squeeze us to death. Unfortunately, this is very short sighted, because the economic engine is US – we are the consumers and the tax payers. A company is one entity – it can’t possibly equal, as a consumer, the number of people it lays off.
    And if we are disposed of because there is an abundance of cheap labor either over seas of ready to be imported – America will soon stop being America. It will become a revolving door, a meat market for profit making the lazy way and will only benefit other countries, who will use our dollars to skill their people, steal our ideas and get rich.
    The more this attitude towards profit only continues, the more companies will move offshore and keep our income levels low.
    It doesn’t take a genius to figure what that will do in the long run. And keep in mind, this practice isn’t new. We have been on this path already for over 10 years.
    Some of the direct causes of this recession and states/Fed budget crisis are rooted in that.
    And you think things are bad NOW???????????

  6. melissa says:

    Please……do whats right and give the American people there unemployment. I said it before and I’m saying it again if you were in there shoes how would it effect you. Nobody job is promise..meaning today it’s here tomorrow it’s gone. Give the people there money………………………

  7. Detrick says:

    Good day

    I i have been currently unemployed since feb of this year i have child support do and bills i cant afford not to have my unemployment taken at this point. i have done all in my means to look for work but with no car and no money esp in gainesville ga where theres no local transportation to even get to work..theres seemingly no hope
    please release to us whats ours..

    thanks

  8. Hello….. I just want to state “ditto” to everything that everyone else has said on this site. No jobs, except for the very chosen few. A very very poor economy and now cutting unemployment insurance. Right now all hell is breaking loose. Crime is going up due to people/families being so desperate due to all the “no jobs available and unemployment cuts”. Many many are becoming homeless and losing everything they worked very hard for….including myself. If things don’t change like “right now” myself, along with many many others will be homeless and living in the shelters–which are so over loaded right now as well. And its known that the welfare system is just as overloaded and even more due to everyone having to apply for some type of assistance to save themselves and their families. I mean what’s next…give us “the legal americans” the jobs. Give us “the legal americans” the unemployment insurance that is ours anyway, until we can get those jobs that belong to “us legal americans”. Give us “the legal americans” the power to take and enrich this country for all…..There’s certainly enough power and money in this country for “us legal americans” to all live in a descent manner. P.S… when I say “us legal americans”, it’s not a racial or prejudice statement…it mean’s just as it’s stated. It means “all” legal americans. So whomever up there in congress reads this…think about how well you are paid and living. And think about how you will never have to be in our suffering shoes…….

  9. Oh and here’s another good one. I know of several people of whom are receiving unemployment insurance benefits and/or social security benefits and use the money to drink, buy drugs and gamble. This another issue that seriously needs attention. There are many as myself that have now lost what unemployment benefits we had and also can no longer work due to “real” illness. So no more unemployment, can’t get honest social security benefits due to alot of the fake drug seekers on it already…..So again, what is going to be next. I suppose if we can all make till 2012, all of our problems will all cease.

  10. Janice Chandler says:

    I hope each and everyone who voted to take the only source of income for many sleep well. I’m sure jobs a plentiful and we are simpling choosing to sponge off the federal government instead of look for a job. I challenge anyone of those hypocrites to go out on real main street USA and find a job!! Oh, and did I mention I live on the gulf coast (Panama City?). I guess I could go clean up oil, I’m only a 60 year old grandmother. P.S I worked for Sallie Mae until the Obama scare started 2 years ago. My old daddy was a yellow dog Democrat, and I, in my wisdom have been a card toting Republican who never missed an election for 40 years. Figure he was right and I was wrong.Changing party affiliation is not that hard, Since I still differ with the Dems, until they also come up with a better idea, Libertarianism is looking better and better. Better late than never. Guess what I’ve done!!! And I have been known to drag my soap box to more than one street corner to express my views. Well, sleep well dear senators and remember if Karma doesn’t get you He will.

  11. Emely Hernandez says:

    Today, I along with 1.2 million others am filled to the brink with fear. My unemployment has ran out and I have had no luck finding a job although I have sent out countless resumes. I have a two year old that depends on me to feed, clothe and maintain a stable roof over his head. Without this unemployment, I will be evicted from my home and have my car taken from me. I urge, I beg and I am a very proud woman who has NEVER begged for money a day in my life, but I am begging you now to please approve this extension. The job market hasn’t gotten much easier and the money that I like so many others have been receiving has been putting food on the table and keeping a roof over our heads. I hope that you find it in your hearts to please approve this extention, please do all that is in your power to make sure that we do not lose our homes or go hungry. Thank you for your time

  12. Joan Bennett says:

    Dear Senators, Representatives, President, Congress:

    I have been unemployed since January 16, 2009. I was an office manager of a personal injury law firm in Phoenix, AZ. As a result of this poor economy, two of our offices were merged under two office managers and because I only had been employed for one year with the firm, I was laid off with one of the other office managers. Even though I had excellent skills, I was let go.

    I am 63 years old. I had to get on Social Security early so I could survive. I have sent out thousands of resumes and have probably had at the most five responses. I have been seeking full or part time work and even receptionist work. I am a white American, and am not bilingual. All of these firms want bilingual. I have even searched clerk, office assistant, administrative assistant and executive assistant positions which I am fully capable and have extensive experience. My phone doesn’t ring anymore for jobs and the few jobs I have interviewed for showed evidence of age discrimination.

    I may end up living in my car, or losing my car. I at my wits end and wonder how and why does our Government take the tax money We The People Pay In and then tell us there is no money for us but for bail outs and foreign aid, especially when we are suffering right here at home.

    I have read so many of these people’s heart breaking stories and am glad I don’t have children to raise. How people that aren’t in our situation judge as lazy americans that want a free hand out. My father didn’t raise me like that. He would have taken two or even three jobs before he went on unemployement or welfare. Yet, we are judged as losers in this rotten economy where these employers are even taking advantage of getting great people for $10.00 an hour.

    I petition our Congress to pass this extended unemployment as long as they can until this economy picks up. I don’t see any improvement.

    Thank you Congress for all the help I know you will give to “We The People”.

    Sincerely,
    JBennett

  13. Nikki says:

    TEIR V
    THIS IS A SAD TIME FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN NEED FOR A TEIR V ….YOU WOULD THINK CONGRESS WOULD WANT TO HELP THEIR CITIZENS…. ETC. IF THEY WON’T SIGN A TIER V THEN HOW ABOUT IF CONGRESS GIVES IT A TRY AT LIVING HOMELESS AND ON A ZERO $0.00 INCOME LET’S SEE HOW LONG THEY LAST……..EVEN IN THEIR FANCY HOMES…….OUR MONEY IS THEIR TO PROTECT US AND HELP OUR COUNTRY GROW STRONGER NOT TO SHAME US IN POVERTY WHEN YOU DO THIS TO YOUR CITIZENS WE GROW WEAKER AND EVERYONE STARTS TO FALL APART
    AS A NATION OF PROGRESS WE WILL REGRESS WHEN WE PUT OUR PEOPLE IN POVERTY…WE CAN’T EVEN GET CASH HELP THROUGH WELFARE YOU NEED TO BE DISABLED AND TEHN THERE IS A LOT OF RED TAPE TO RECEIVE HELP….MY MOTHER IS DISABLED AND CANNOT CASH GET HELP
    DOES ANYONE UNDERSTAND THE AGONY THAT THE UNEMPLOYED ARE EXPERIENCING…………PLEASE HELP US TO OBTAIN A TEIR V UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION….YOUR CITIZENS ARE BEGGING FOR HELP CAN’T YOU SEE THEM ON THEIR KNEES!!!

  14. Theresa says:

    Hi, I just found out a friend of mine who is still on teir 4 is getting a teir 5 and they are working for a tier 6!!!!!! well!?? where are our extensions?? I have been out of work since 2006, exhausted all benefits the end of March, I have a 2 yr old to feed! I went to social services for help and I get nothing to help me out! Can’t get vouchers for my 2 yr old to go to day care! can’t get medicaid to help me with my post partum depression! All i will get is food stamps! fine and well but I have to wait 2 weeks while baby and I starve waiting for the appointment to see if I will be approved! why are we not getting the help!? another freiend of mine exhausted all tiers. he was turned down social services and foosd stamps!!!!!!! so as far as the government saying go to social services!! they are doing nothing for us!!!!!!!!!!!! Please we beg of you! HELP US PLEASE!!!!!!!!

  15. Theresa says:

    Are they even reading this?? or ignoring all of this??? I can’t fathom human beings doing this to us! WE NEED THE HELP TO MAKE IT BY!!!!!!!!!!!! why is it so damn hard to do that?? why is it so dammn easy to send billions to war?? but not for us to feed our people!?? help us out here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! why is it so easy to give the rich a tax break! but yet we get screwed?? why!!!!!!!! WHY WHY WHY!!!!!!!! what is going on in our country!?????? This is so unfair to us 99ers!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. The Economist says:

    I created a wikipage entry for 99ers, if any wiki pros would like to add to or improve it using reliable sources and information, so historically this time in history is documented and remembered.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/99ers

    When I first submitted it, another person in a senior role with wikipedia messaged me asking if it was widespread enough of a term and said he would remove it if there were no sources on the term being used. So I went in and added multiple sources from ABC News to the Washington Post on the term being used. Apparently some people are completely unaware of what’s going on in our world and haven’t even heard about the 99ers. They didn’t even know 1.4 million American families and growing are going through this.

  17. Cindy says:

    WE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BEG FOR THIS TIER 5. OUR GOVERNMENT DID NOT HAVE TO BEG FOR OUR TAX DOLLAR. THAT IS WELFARE FOR THEM. THEY DID NOT BEG FOR THE FANCY CARS OR HOMES. THEY DO NOT WORRY ABOUT HOW THEY ARE GOING TO FEED THIER CHILDREN. WE PROVIDE THIER WELFARE CHECKS BY WAY OF OUR TAXES. THEY DID NOT HAVE TO BEG FOR IT! THEY RAISE TAXES AND WE DONT HAVE A SAY IN THE DICISION. WE WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING WITH ALL OF THE TAXES WE PAID. IT IS SO OBVIOUSE THAT OUR GOVERNMENT HAS GOTTEN VERY RICH OFF OF US WHILE THEY HAVE REDUCED US TO POVERTY. THEY HAVE BROKEN EVERY LAW AGAINST MANKIND AND THEY GET AWAY WITH IT. WE NEED TO TAKE THE POWER BACK AND START HOLDING THIS SO CALLED GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE LAWS THEY ARE BREAKING. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE ARE ALL BOOTED OFF UI? LESS MONEY FOR THEM TO LIVE ON. I WILL NOT BEG FOR WHAT IS RIGHTFULLY MINE! OUR GOVERNMENT DID NOT HAVE TO BEG!

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