I received more than 300 letters from those who submitted letters to the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support .

The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support 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.* Below are a few of those letters. I’ll be posting other letters on a regular basis.

While you can no longer submit letters to House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support hearing, you can send your letters to me at mike@layofflist.org and I’ll publish them at Rochester Unemployment Examiner or at http://layofflist.org. Your stories are important and hopefully some of the clueless ones in Congress read them to see how their actions, or inactions, can harm Americans from all corners of the nation.

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 every one of you.

As you can see from the following letters, this jobless recession has affected people of varied careers, education, and backgrounds. While many Americans will be enjoying their summer vacations and hosting backyard barbeques, there will be millions who won’t be enjoying their summer because their congressional representatives have abandoned them at the worst possible time.

Here are those letters:

From KB in AZ:

I am an award-winning human services professional who enjoys helping people, communities, and agencies expand their capacity to the fullest.  It has been my calling for most of my life.  I am ABD having completed my doctoral dissertation though I ran out of money before I could do my re-writes.  I did all of this because I wanted to learn as much as I could to be the best I could be as a community development professional.

My graduate education was primarily funded by student loans and I want to pay those student loans.  However, I was laid off 2 years ago when the economy went bad.  Since then I have been applying for positions of all kinds…kitchen work, janitorial, office work…it doesn’t matter as long as I don’t have to feel like a freeloader.  In the past 2 years I have lost my car and almost had my mobile home foreclosed on.  In a rural area where I live with no public transportation there is very little hope of working, so I have submitted resumes all over the country.

Thanks to the program that allowed for a re-packaging of my home loan (I have lived here 20 years) my home was saved by lowering the payments.  The payments and home insurance were made using my unemployment, now that the unemployment has ended, I don’t know how I will keep paying the mortgage.  I am 58 years old and my husband of 36 years is 72.  His disability insurance pays the bills but not the mortgage.  I never in my life thought things would end up like this.  I want to work but nobody will hire me.  I have even tried to be a VISTA volunteer and no one has picked me.

I am at my wit’s end.  I send out 10-20 resumes a week.  I have revised my resume several times using tips from employment agencies.  I have a resume for doing kitchen work, office work, and then my professional one.  I know there are people in the country with children who are having an even more difficult time of it and I make a daily list of things to be grateful for.  Still, it seems to me that given the great numbers of unemployed, it would make sense to extend a Tier 5 until the economy gets better.  Or, even better, create jobs that could help America through these hard times.  I would work just for living expenses.  At this point, it is hard to believe that I was chosen as Executive Director of the year for the State of Arizona by my peers.

Please try and think of ways to take advantage of the skills and knowledge that those of us who are unemployed have.  We can help get through this if you let us.  Thank you for reading my story.

From AMS in PA:

My name is AMS and I am from northeastern Pennsylvania.  I am 38 years old and have been unemployed since April 2008 after being separated from my job as assistant manager with a regional sporting goods retail chain.  Currently, I am in my third week of Tier 4 Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and without more weeks of Tier 4 or a Tier 5 added, my benefits will end in early or mid-July.  My primary background is in public relations and communications – I was a journalism major in college, graduating with honors from a small liberal arts school in 1994.  None of the above seem to be very good fields in this economy.  I also have good professional experience in customer service and retail.  Prior to being separated from my company in 2008, I had worked since I was 17 years old, including summer jobs in high school and college and parttime work in various campus offices as an undergraduate.

Over the past two years I have applied for numerous jobs in various fields, both fulltime and parttime.  In addition, I have registered with several temporary agencies.  One of the most frustrating parts of the job search process is the lack of communication from employers.  Many applications are done over the internet, and applicants rarely hear back from the employers.  It has also been indicated in the news lately that companies are unwilling to hire workers who are unemployed or who have been out of work for a long time.  This is just wrong.

In addition to an extensive job search, I have accepted any parttime, seasonal work that I can get.  I have helped at a local college in their campus police office during back-to-school time and also with their home athletic events.  I have also worked at our local visitors center during the busy Christmas holiday season.  Unfortunately, the visitors center was unable to hire as many workers this past winter due to budget cuts, so I was unable to work there during the 2009 holiday season.  I have been able and available for any work offered to me.

A scary part of this situation is being a Type 1 diabetic without health insurance.  My 18 months of COBRA expired October 31, 2009 and I was unable to obtain medical assistance from my county government because it was determined that my $280.00 weekly unemployment benefit was too high.  Taking care of my diabetes without insurance and on a very limited income is very hard, but I am doing the best I can.  My diabetes is under control – all of my doctors would agree that I am handling it very well and am employable.  I am so afraid that if I have no money coming in and can’t afford to take care of myself, I will end up in the hospital, or worse.  All I want to do is get a decent-paying job with good benefits including healthcare.  However, I am aware that in the near future I may have to accept parttime or temporary work until something else comes along.  In the meantime, I need some kind of income to live on.

I am currently living in a small two-bedroom apartment with my parents, who are in their 70s and both have physical problems of their own.  They live on a fixed income of social security and a parttime job that my father has as a campus police dispatcher at a local college.  I would love to be able to contribute to my household financially, but unfortunately right now that is not possible as I am just able to pay my bills and other expenses with unemployment funds.  I have tried to cut back financially, but there are certain bills and other expenses that must be paid.  I am worried that if my unemployment ends in July, I will not be able to pay bills or afford my medical expenses, nutritious food, gas for the car to get to possible job interviews, etc.  This will cause a very big strain not only on myself, but also on my parents, who do not deserve this after working very hard all their lives.

Thank you very much for reading my story and those of the others like me in this country.  We need your help right now in this difficult time.  Respectfully submitted, June 8, 2010.

From RM in WI:

I have been unemployed now for almost three years.  I realize that I may have used up all of my unemployment benefits but I’ve only been getting a little over $200 a week.  My husband is retired and receiving social security.  He was forced into early retirement at the age of 62.  I have been trying everywhere, including over a 30 mile radius within my area of living to try and find work–any work.  I’m usually an office clerk with data entry skills and knowledge of computers but the jobs I’ve been applying for have been part-time housekeepers, hotel clerks, all night dispatcher, etc.  I cannot find anything in the field I’ve worked in for over 30 years.   I’ll take any kind of work if I can just FIND ANY!  I can’t get an answer back from some of the places where I’ve applied and when I do and I go in for an interview, with the looks they give me I know I’m not wanted there.  I turn 61 this month and I know that it’s turning a lot of people off as far as hiring me.

If I could find a good job, I would not retire next year but would keep on until at least 66 or maybe even 70 years of age.  I feel I am a good asset to any office but that’s not what some people are seeing.  I know they are looking at someone who they consider “over the hill” and not worth a second look, much less a chance to prove themselves.

I really need and depend on the emergency unemployment.  It helps us to pay our bills and buy food and our medications.  My husband’s social security check will not do it alone.

I’m asking that you PLEASE allow more emergency unemployment to come my way until I can find a job or am forced into retirement and social security next year.

The State of Wisconsin needs to allow this to happen for not only myself but so many others.  I’m asking, and I’m not too proud to beg, that you help us.

Thank you for your time,

From GV in NY:

Chairman McDermott

Please Help and extend benefits.

I have been unemployed since February 2009.  My work history speaks for itself.  Educated, motivated and eager to find a job that will improve my life and stop dwindling down my savings, which slowly empties day by day just to live.  Do you have any idea what it takes to find a job that will pay the bills as they use to be paid, and have a little to spare.

Here’s the rest of my story 61 years old soon to turn 62 and going broke day by day.   The jobs are not plentiful and are paying nothing, but you continue to give to banks, fight the wars, and give money to other countries when you cannot support the unemployed??  I like the bonuses that Wall Street continues to give out.  But AIG is the worst of them and you gave them money but will not help us.  Please explain? So next for me will be food stamps and welfare?  Why do this?  I hope you realize just how many people are still unemployed, please don’t sugar coat the fact that the economy is getting better, it is not.  Say hi to Louise (Slaughter) I voted for her & she was a friend of my Dad’s.

From FP in NJ:

My name is FP, I am 35 years old and I have been unemployed since December, 2007.  I was a licensed title insurance settlement agent and have been my entire adult life.  I was laid off because the company I was working for had begun to downsize due to the failing economy.  This company eventually closed its doors for good.

In the midst of searching for work, my husband was laid off from his job due to downsizing.  This company eventually closed its doors for good as well.  This left us in a very bad financial situation as we were both unemployed at the same time and there were very few jobs to choose from.

This led to the foreclosure of our very first home which we are in the midst of negotiating with the lender for a short-sale.  We are being sued by our homeowner’s association because we have been unable to pay our association fees.  We have countless collection agencies calling and hounding us for money that we don’t have and we can barely afford groceries.

My husband finally found a job in September, 2009 but to our dismay, several months later, he was forced to take a pay cut due to the failing economy.

So, at this point, there is only one income coming into our house which is now significantly less than it was when my husband started his position.  The cost of living is rising and paychecks are decreasing.  I can not find any work and have been applying to every store, fast-food restaurant, company, etc. that I can think of.

We can’t apply for government assistance or food stamps because my husband has a job and according to them, “We make too much money.”  Well, we’ll see about that when you are passing us by on the street.  Oh, yeah, we’ll be the ones living in a cardboard box!!!

You have no idea how much it would help if additional unemployment benefits were given to those of us who have already exhausted our 99 weeks.  Don’t you want to see the economy improve?  Extend unemployment benefits for those of us who have nowhere left to go but downward.

From MM in AZ:

My name is MRM, I’ve been an Arizona resident since February 2009.  My work history comes from California, I have yet to secure employment in AZ.  I got laid off from Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. Dec. 31, 2002.  After that I could not find an employer willing to hire me as an FTE.  They avoided a head-count/benefit increase due to the beginning of the faltering of the economy that finally caught up with the rest of the country.   Employers avoided hiring FTEs by using contractors, temps and off-shoring jobs.

I am an Executive Assistant and temporary jobs were unavailable to me in 2008.  I moved to AZ early 2009 in hopes of finding a position in a smaller venue.  I’ve had 2 interviews despite submissions of hundreds of resumes.  I was laid off December 31, 2007 from a contract position of 16 months through Adecco working at the Bank of America Concord Tech Center in California.  I managed to survive on unemployment benefits until they were completely exhausted March 2010.  Since then, the help of friends and family have kept me from homelessness.  That will end very soon, they have families and their own needs.  Two of my sisters who work for the City of Los Angeles have 6 furlough days per month between them, including losses in pay for the days that they do work.  They are unable to help me, as they are stumbling themselves.  My younger sister who is on the Social Security Disability Ticket to Work Program, moved in with me so we could pool our resources in order help one another survive.

I just qualified for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program benefits last week, Food Stamps May 7th , which were supposed to be issued today for June, but my worker still had the hold on them pending receipt of additional paper work that I provided May 12th.  I am still awaiting the decision on AHCESS healthcare benefits June 16th.

My parents came to this country to make sure we were afforded the opportunities their country lacked.  I was born and educated in America, upper middle class.  All of my siblings and I have 4 year college degrees.  I’ve 20+ years of work experience and I’ve been reduced to poverty.  My younger sister went back to school to get her Bachelor’s Degree and she too can’t find work, despite more than 20 years of finance and teaching experience.

I would like to close with a quote from a local AZ newspaper last week:

“We now have one trillion reasons to oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On 5/30, those 2 wars cost one trillion for operations alone, not even counting the interest on the debt of that borrowed money, or the healthcare cost for returning vets.  It is an amount so incomprehensible that it can only be understood in terms of what it could have bought, rather than missiles and destruction. For one trillion dollars, we could immediately give everyone of the 15.4 million unemployed people in the U.S. a 50K job and still have 235 Billion left over…” Eric Stone, Mesa, AZ

From FO in NJ:

TO WHOM IT CONCERNS,

I HAVE BEEN OUT OF WORK SINCE AUGUST 2008 DUE TO DOWNSIZING. I AM ONE OF THE “99ER’S” WHO IS ABOUT OT LOSE MY UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS IN A FEW WEEKS. I HAVE SENT OUT 1000’S OF RESUMES WITH LITTLE OR NO REPLY. “I AM TOO QUALIFIED, I AM NOT QUALIFIED ENOUGH”. I AM GOING CRAZY. MY CREDIT CARDS ARE AT THE LIMITS, I AM BEHIND ON PAYMENTS IN SOME. MY CREDIT SCORE IS HORRIBLE. I AM ABOUT TO BE KICKED OUT OF MY APARTMENT. I HAVE NO FAMILY AND MY FRIENDS ARE IN THE SAME BOAT.

I WILL BE LIVING IN MY CAR SOON WITH MY CAT BELLA. PLEASE EITHER CREATE A TIER 5 EXTENSION OR FIND ME A JOB. I HAVE NOTHING TO LIVE FOR.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME,

FO AND BELLA

From KCS in CA:

My name is KCS, I have been laid off since 03/2008. I worked for (company) for twenty three years, the ten last years as a District Manager. I have been on over thirty five interviews, some people say that I am over qualified others say they thought I would not take the pay. I would take anything right now because my gas, phone and electric are all off right now as I speak.

I have never asked for anything free and I lost my job for no reason but the company had to cut back and sixty two of us are all out of jobs now of our faults will be homeless in two more months if nothing happens I look for work every day even Saturday and Sundays. And if they do ok this extension it needs to be retroactive so that we who have lost so much can get caught up.

PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE HELP US AND PASS A TIER 5 EXTENSION.

From RW:

I have been unemployed since December 31st of 2008. I’ve been drawing unemployment checks since then. I received a letter yesterday saying my benefits have expired and after talking to a representative today it was confirmed. I thought a bill was passed so I could receive benefits for “99” weeks? There was a big deal made of it like it was the next coming.

Now, I can’t pay my utilities or house payment which I’ve struggling to do even with the benefits.

I’ve tried to reduce my house payment 3 times now and keep getting rejected. The first time I was told I had too much money in my checking/savings. At the time, I had around $4500. That was all the money I had in the world. They said as long as I had enough money to make 3 house payments, I didn’t qualify for a loan modification. After paying general bills and house payments, 2 months later, I was down to $2000. Again, I was rejected saying I don’t have proof of earnings sufficient for a modification. I’d sent them all my unemployment info. The last time I tried, I received a letter from them saying they recommend I sell my home. I owe $80000 on my home that was valued at $450000 just 2 years ago and now is valued at $200000. Even if I decided to sell, people can buy a brand new home for the same amount and….where would I go. I worked all my life since graduating HS and paid taxes to ensure something like this wouldn’t happen to me when I get older and look what’s happening. I can’t find a job at age 62 and am at the mercy of others who really don’t care what happens to me.

And, not even mentioning health insurance which has to be paid. I was aided by Cobra which, by the way, just ended this month also so I have to pay the full premium which I can’t afford.

I could go on and on but I’m sure you’ve heard it all before.

I guess my question is what happened to the “99” weeks of benefits that were supposed to be in effect?

Thank you,

From SD in FL:

I am sending the following suggestion instead of telling my story which I am sure is fairly typical.  I am now 58 years old and have worked steadily since the age of 19.  Two years ago I was laid off from an administrative assistant position with a property management company primarily due to the downturn in the building industry.  When I began to look for work, I was faced with age discrimination and a general lack of job openings.  I have now run out of unemployment benefits.  My suggestion is as follows:

Since the latest jobs report last month indicates an increase in hiring that is largely due to the Federal Governments’ employment of census workers, I believe the answer to the unemployment problem lies with the Federal Government doing what government has historically done in the past—create jobs programs which will put people to work, and give the jobless paychecks instead of unemployment checks. We are spending money on the unemployed anyway so why not get something back?  I see government jobs programs as win-win situation—the unemployed get their dignity back and the government gets workers to do things like clean up beaches in the Gulf and so many other things that need to be done.  Considering that there are so many professional, highly skilled, well educated people who are out of work, they surely must have something to contribute.  Only government can and should do this.  Instead of preaching to private industry to create jobs, the Federal Government should set an example and start the ball rolling.

From DM in CA:

HEART to HEART……Hardship in California.  We need a Tier V!

Tier V for the long term unemployed should be considered and approved.  It’s necessary, justified and the Democratic thing to do.

I’m a 50 year old female living in CA.  I was laid off in August of 2008 from (company) after a 15 year career in the middle of the recession.  Since then, it’s been unbelievably difficult to find work.  I have sent out about 1,500 resumes.  I’ve made sacrifices and cutbacks and have no industry or salary boundary or preference.  My 99 weeks is about to come to an end and sadly, still no job.  California has been hit hard and unemployment is still very high.  The state keeps cutting back on services and there are many layoffs.  The job market is stagnant, competitive and just discouraging. This feels like a war!  A war against the middle class and average American Citizen!

I had a great job with (company)and didn’t ask to be put into this situation.  I’ve worked hard all my life to not be in this predicament.  I’m not looking for a handout.  These are unprecedented times and this is a matter of urgency.  Weeks if not months go by literally with no acknowledgement or response to our endless efforts of applying for jobs.  During several interviews I was lucky enough to get, 100 or more people applied for the same position.  It’s awfully frustrating.  At this point, it’s a matter of luck!

What did we do to deserve this!

Extending Unemployment Insurance for the working class and long term unemployed would avoid a lot of pain and help us to survive while we keep looking for work and hope that the economy begins to rebound.

Welfare and Food Stamps as my means of survival is unacceptable and ultimately will cost everyone more!

Thank you for your time.

DLM in CA:

Dear Committee:

I’ve been asked to tell you my story in hopes to gain support from the elected officials that I have put into office.  I have read many stories from different sources about unemployment which included internet news, newspapers, unemployment websites, magazines and local area work centers about the numbers that are unemployed.  I’m one of them.

I have been working since I was thirteen years old.  I’m 56 years old at this time, female.  I do understand that some people take advantage of unemployment benefits.  In my lifetime I have not been considered lazy or one to take advantage of the system.  I grew up with morals and values for right and wrong.  I have raised two children on my own with no support from others.  I had started college very young but was unable to finish by my own choice.  I had decided to raise my children and to continue to work.  The most recent company I was working for had to lay me off because work was slow.  I was in a management position and the owner decided she could run the business herself and save money.  I have a wide range of experience in Management and as an Executive in the business industry.  I had decided it might have been my resume that was holding me back from a good position.  Well I paid a professional resume writer to rewrite my resume so it would be more competitive and appealing for the market.  Which did get me a few interviews.

I have applied for many different jobs, from management, customer service, retail, and office personal with no success.  I have used many free job finder services, from local employment agencies, local craiglists, monster.com, and even in different cities for jobs, Usajobs, and many more.  When I’ve had job interviews, I realized that there are other people with more qualifications which included Master degrees, Bachelor degrees and more college education for different entry level jobs which just had one open position.    Today on the local area news people had been lining up about 600of them outside of Campbell Soup Company since 5:00 am to be notified to get index cards to fill out so they could fill out applications later.  It almost turned out to be a riot.  It’s very disappointing and very disheartens when I hear people say that I’m lazy or not looking for a job.   I’ve been going back to college for the past year to further my education to be more competitive for different jobs and looking for fulltime work at the same time.

In the meantime, since I have no income or benefits at this time.  I’ve been selling different things, couch, table and chairs, trying to make any money to pay my bills.  Just to keep things going until my school checks come in, I’ve been living within my means.  It’s scary.   I understand that unemployment benefits are only for a short time but I’ve never had to compete with so many people for the same job.  I’m worried for the long term too.  Hoping that maybe with the education I’m getting I might be able to start a little bookkeeping business.  But, that’s going to take some time and money.   It’s an idea that could work.  There are just too many people just like me in the same boat.  I’ve almost been out on the streets with other people no home or place to live.  Don’t understand why the politicians help so many other people in the world, but think we just might go away.  Well, I’m still here.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. 
Sincerely,

DLM,

Mother, Sister, Daughter, Aunt, Cousin and Grandmother

From SW in TX:

As of the writing of this statement, I am a 59 year old woman who lost her job on January 18, 2009 from a law firm here in Houston, Texas where I worked as a paralegal/legal secretary.  I have been unemployed for a year and a half.  I have been searching for a job daily since I became unemployed.  During this time I have been searching on line on all the job sites.  I am listed with numerous head hunters; I have applied for jobs on Craig’s List and attended job fairs.  What I have found is that there are no jobs.  I have had 4 interviews in a year and a half.  There are numerous other individuals applying for these positions as well.  The office managers for the various law firms have told me that I am over qualified for the positions that I have applied for as they are looking for younger individuals, with less experience who will work for a lot less money.   Although I have indicated that I would accept 1/3 to 1/2 less than I have been making I am still passed over.  I have applied for part-time positions and contract positions but have never gotten an interview and no one has responded to my resume.  Since I am 59 years old and will be 60 years old in October they look at me as being ready for retirement and will probably only work for another few years.  I have been asked on many occasions if I will be retiring when I turn 65 which is only 7 years away.

My savings have run out, I am on food stamps and have a disabled brother that I have to take care of and I have no insurance and have medication for my heart which I need daily and will soon be unable to get because I will have no money at all to pay for it.  My unemployment will be exhausting soon and I have nowhere to turn for help.

My unemployment check is just enough to take care of my mortgage payment but soon I will not be able to pay it and will probably lose my home.  I have talked with Bank of American who holds the mortgage on my home and they have turned me down every time I have spoken with them about a mortgage modification because all I have is unemployment and no job to be able to make continuous payments; although, so far my payments have always been on time.  I can’t even sell my home because of the economy and the fact that my home is underwater.

If we don’t get additional unemployment or some alternative I will be on the street with a disabled brother with nowhere to go since I have exhausted everything.

So far you have subsidized wars, tax cuts, you have made bail outs to auto makers, banks and have sent money to Greece when you have millions of older people here in the US who need help and can’t get it.   I have worked hard and played by the rules and I lost my job through no fault of my own and so have millions of others just like me and we would like to be bailed out.

An alternative for people my age who are being pushed out of the workforce because of our age is to let us take retirement and get our social security so that we will have money coming in.  I have worked all my life and have had no help.  I should at least be able to have money coming in until I reach the age for social security because there are no jobs out there for me.  The majority of people who cannot get a job are older people like me and we deserve some relief.

From GS in PA:

I have been unemployed since December 2007. I have been looking for a full time employments ever since.

Right now, I am living on a part par time job. I work 2-3 days a week 4 hours a day at $7.25 an hour. I had to ask my friends and family to pay my gas bill and light bill. My phone service will be off within the next few days.

I do not even have money to get to interviews. I have applied for over 150 jobs at PNC Bank here in Pittsburgh. I have applied for hundreds of jobs at other companies. I even wrote to four CEO’s of companies to ask for jobs. I have written to several other owners of companies in other states.

I will not be able to go to my friends and family for very long. The unemployment I was receiving helped me keep my bills paid. I have a daughter I have to take care of. I have to feed her, and cloth her. How can I do that with $232.00 dollars a month? Yes, I get food stamps; I get $200.00 dollars a month. It does not last the whole month. I have to ask my family for food, or money to buy food.

Please we need to have a Tier 5 added on. If I do not get a full time job soon, I will be force to live in a shelter. How the US government cans lets us suffer like this. PLEASE WE NEED HELP, HELP US.

Thank you

From EH in NJ:

Committee Members

I am writing to you to tell you of my need for the extension of Tier 5 Unemployment Benefits.

I have been out of work since November 2008 and cannot find any work with diligent effort on my part to find any job—resumes, want ads, Internet, newspapers, applications to any possible opportunities, etc.

My family—wife, daughters and I have managed to subsist only on the Unemployment Benefits we have received.  The expenses for food, shelter, medical (doctors and medications), jobs search, utilities and auto have been eked out.  All of our savings and monetary assets are gone.

Now, with the cessation of my Tier 4 benefits, I have nowhere to turn except to plead my case to you.  Of course, I must continue my employment search.  I implore you to extend these benefits to help us.

You must also find solutions to create jobs and prevent them from leaving our country—and you should start in New Jersey to alleviate the excessive unemployment here.  I am willing and able to work at any possible job that can be offered.

Please consider this plea favorably—I am certain there are thousands of families like mine right here in New Jersey and throughout our country—as we have nowhere to turn.

Our fate is in your hands.

From MS in OK:

I want to express my views on the topic of long-term unemployment for those who have exhausted all their assistance.

I among others are seeking assistance from the federal government for help.  I have not had any working income since March 2008, and no unemployment since January 2010.  Although we have bailed out many institutions, assisted other governments, and other needless assistance to a few, the government has not helped the millions who are the backbone of this country.

I had been working on my MBA, worked since I was 13 years old, and supported my family for over 25 years, now I am broke, with no working future in RURAL Oklahoma.  I have NOT received the full 99 weeks like others in other states due to the restriction of the 8.5 % level assistance, Oklahoma is sitting steady at 6.5 – 7.0 %.

Please help ALL STATES, because the unemployed is just that, UNEMPLOYED.  Do not discriminate.  I like others have completed over 300 job applications, and have interview over 100 times, with no success.  Before 2008, in my job career and advancement, I was 100 % on 5 job interviews.  I am not lazy, looking for handouts, but simply want to pay for food, shelter, and try in a simple family life.  Thanks.

From RF in TN:

To whom it might matter,

I was employed as a Program / Project Manager in the automotive industry by a glass company. I led several successful launches such as the Subaru Tribecca, Mazda 6, Hummer and managed many small engineering changes. I was laid off in May 2008. I found a contract job in July that lasted 4 months, then I taught as a substitute teacher (geometry) for four months at a private school. Since then a few interviews, many, many applications and submissions and now my unemployment has run out.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand how our Federal Government can send billions of dollars overseas, spend many more billions on bail outs for those who are arguably criminals, and still more billions on wars we should not be fighting. I guess I know where my 30 years+ of hard work, paying my own way through school, and serving in the Army for four years got me? Nowhere, with little to show and a deep abiding distrust of all elected officials.

The last election is probably the last one I’ll bother voting in as nothing seems to change.

Sincerely

From DB in NJ:

My name is DB and I worked for Builders FirstSource, formerly Blackstone Company for, 4 weeks shy of, 24 years. We were dislocated on December 15, 2008 when the company closed their New Jersey operations. It was a good job, with livable wages, good benefits and excellent people. I literally worked there for half of my lifetime. Would be there today if I had my way.

We were assisted with our unemployment claims at work. I went to the One Stop Career Center the following week and signed up for all available seminars and services which I attended. I started the process for job training. Went smoothly but takes a while.

I started the Computerized Accounting program at MCC on May 27, 2009 and graduated on November 25, 2009. I did very well as the director or my teachers will attest to. I have an exemplary work history and an updated skill set. I have applied for over 200 jobs with no offers. Good jobs I wanted and could do, no “fillers”. Thru school and my PSG group I have met a lot of good people in the same boat.

I want and need to work. All I need is an opportunity and I know I can make a success of it. There are simply too many people for too few jobs, simple as that. Blame whatever or whoever you want, that’s just a fact. I will return to the workforce at my first opportunity. Meanwhile we need the Unemployment Benefits extended. I have never been late much less missed a bill payment in my life. I am a responsible, play by the rules type of person who just needs assistance until he can find an opportunity. And I am busting my butt to get that opportunity too. Please also consider some type of jobs program too.

Warmest Regards

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.


Long Term Unemployed



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15 Comments to “Tier 5 and extended unemployment benefits are needed: letters to Congress from 99ers and other long-term unemployed”

  1. […] reading here: Tier 5 and extended unemployment benefits are needed: letters to … Share and […]

  2. melissa says:

    To who this may concern, we also in need for a 5 tier. The way thing are coming now there are still people are unemployed. Why 5 tier is because still don’t have jobs and many have went back to school to re educated themselves when there still are no jobs. Thanks for the Long term unemployment but we also need a 5 tier after November 30, and then what still more people been homeless in the street. Do wants right. there are many Americans are not sitting on there butts waiting on this checks but we need work also. I love too work and still looking for work, but we have to realize that Nov 30, will not only help so……….please re think about our 5 tier. Thanks…..

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sean Corwynn, layofflist. layofflist said: Tier 5 and extended unemployment benefits are needed: letters to Congress from 99ers and other long-term unemployed – http://clicky.me/wFi […]

  4. […] Tier 5 and extended unemployment benefits are needed: letters to … I also have good professional experience in customer service and retail. Prior to being separated from my company in 2008, I had worked since I was 17 years old, including summer jobs in high school and college and parttime work in various …. We can’t apply for government assistance or food stamps because my husband has a job and according to them, “We make too much money.” Well, we’ll see about that when you are passing us by on the street. Oh, yeah, we’ll be the ones … … Read the original here: Tier 5 and extended unemployment benefits are needed: letters to … […]

  5. […] more here: Tier 5 and extended unemployment benefits are needed: letters to … Share and […]

  6. Kerri says:

    I have been working in customer service for about fifteen years ever since my kids were little. Most of the time i have worked for the same company doing telemarketing and i was able to live on this and pay my bills . This is a seasonal job that i work nine months out of twelve . When i returned in 2008 and tried to get my regular job back it wasnt available. Luckily i was able to work in some other departments within the same company. These other jobs bill collecting and factory work really werent in my area of expertise. I had a hard time making quota and when i tried to get back into the telemarketing department where i excell ,they blacklisted me for three years because of my low quotas. Since then i have held several jobs. I have been a prep cook, a waitress, and am currently a newspaper carrrier. My current job doesn’t pay enough to cover any of my expenses. I have held this job for 18 months .UI is on hold and my medical coverage ends in august and cant get a job what now?

  7. gerald says:

    not fair to not give 99 to all states down here in baton rouge unemployment 7percent but in my field double that per baton rouge advocate we only get 73 weeks we need milk just like resy of them

  8. gerald says:

    we dont get tier4

  9. Holly says:

    I also live in Baton Rouge. I have been unemployed for a little over 8 mos. I found out I WONT get the extended benefits. Must be nice if you do, though

  10. Lynnehs says:

    Not only are there so few jobs compared to all the people looking (and people who have given up looking), but so many of the jobs ads in newspapers and online are phony. I’m so sick of getting solicited for “sales” jobs that just pay commission – like anyone is buying anything in this economy!

    Anyway, I appreciate what this site is doing and have linked to it from my site. Good luck!

  11. ml from Kansas says:

    GOD BLESS THE USA. We believe in the USA and we want to be proud of AMERICA, and our leaders.

    Leaders dont be the ones that make (horrible) history by failing the United States of America, to go down in history books to be taught to your grandchildren and ours.

    PLEASE help the unemployed to get our rightful benefits that we paid in for many years, to help us survive. We need help NOW, just as you needed help getting elected. We need extentions that last longer than a mire 7 weeks, 13 weeks, even 20 weeks, but ones that last until the majority that truely seeks employment is placed on some job.

    REMEMBER all states make up AMERICA, not just the “HIGH unemployment” states, we all can starve just as fast in “low unemployment” as we can in “high unemployment” states. WE in the “low unemployment” states paid into the fund just like the “high unemployment” states, so why are we not getting the same benefits? Who came up with the division of states, just because there isnt as many unemployed does NOT mean everyone is employed, that leaves a whole lot of people without any funds at all, who losses their homes, cant feed their families and can lead to crime. So next comes the states divided into ‘high’ and ‘low’ CRIME states, nothing right about this picture.

    DONT ever think people are lazy and drawing funds that are not deserved. Send the whole staff in congress and the president to see the conditions that people are having to live in, due to no money coming in. LAZY ends when people are starving. Dont turn your heads away to believe it isnt happening in AMERICA.

    Keep AMERICA the county that others want to live in. “Want to be rich, go to AMERICA” used to make us proud that we live here, sure hope that saying continues, dont you?

  12. Kalan says:

    I have been unemployed since August 15, 2008. I have been very dedicated to my job search but with minimal results. Only 3 interviews and each told me I have been out of work too long. My unemployment ended and I decided to take out a student loan and grants and attend the local community college full time. I know I will need to pay back the loan but I am without another option. At least I should gain additional education in the meantime.

  13. Elaine says:

    What about us 50 year olds who have lost jobs,exhausted all umemployment benifits and still cant find work.I have no income at all and am in school full time this fall ,but have no money for gas to get there.

  14. Cheryl Tubbs says:

    I totally agree, with a 5th tier. I have exhausted all of my benefits. I was laid off from General Motors when they closed in Doraville, Ga in 2008 and i went to school and still can’t find a job. Reason being I don’t have enough experience, how can I get experience if they won’t give me a chance!! So now i have no money coming in either, we really need a 5th Tier in Ga, or give me a job, This is really stressful, not knowing if you lights, water, car note not being paid. We the people need help!!!!

  15. LJ says:

    I have exhausted all of my benefits this month. I worked as a Product Design Engineering Coordinator contractor with Hewlett Packard in San Diego. I was laid off because HP decided to send the work of a few contractors to Chennai, India. I helped to train 6 individuals who were also contractors in India but possessed PHd’s in Economics, Masters in Business, etc. I did the work with pride and found solutions to reduce time and less cost for the company and I only have a GED with some college work. Its not rocket science just data entry with a little creativity and determination. Now HP pays the same pay I received alone for 6 people to do the work. I am awaiting a reply from another job contract, but now its been over two weeks and I haven’t heard from them. I need help now. My husband sells newspapers for us to get by. I received a letter from the State of California informing me that now we will need to file for Welfare to sustain our living existance. This is not the America for me I envisioned at the ripe old age of 52. I tried starting an online business, to no economic avail due to the economy. Please help with the Tier V. This will without a doubt create momemtum in the economy as well as prevent homelessness for millions of Americans facing this issue.

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