unemployment compensation benefits for 2 million people is set to expire at the
end of the month as Congress contemplates whether to extend unemployment
benefits past the current maximum of 99 weeks. House Democrats have introduced
legislation that will extend unemployment benefits for other 3 months. It is not clear whether the Bill will pass.
Overall, about 8.85
million people continue to receive jobless aid, including 4.7 million
individuals doing so through federally funded benefits programs which extend to
the max of 99 weeks. That's a whole lot
of people depending on unemployment benefits to help them through this rocky
economy! And how many of these people collecting unemployment depends on their
benefits to live?
benefits become the new welfare system in the
and more lucrative than working at Starbucks or Wal-Mart. Are they content with collecting unemployment
checks instead of working two jobs and training for a new career? Maybe. Some people are abusing the system, while
others not eligible for benefits struggle to stay afloat and pay higher taxes
to support those receiving unemployment compensation.
There's a term that
Workmen's Compensation attorneys use called, TTD, which is "bridge" money for
injured workers. They collect weekly checks while waiting for their workmen's'
comp case to make it through the courts or until their condition stabilizes and
they can return to work. Sometimes, the
injured workers receive checks for years.
Workmen's Compensation plaintiff's attorneys tell me that some of their
clients get "the TTD syndrome" where workers start abusing the system.
They become too
comfortable with not working and collecting a weekly check, rather than
returning to a job that they didn't really like much, anyway. They hesitate to settle their claim because
this would mean that they would have to return to their old job or find new
work. Sometimes, it's easier to stay
home and watch Oprah.
I have empathy for
the unemployed who were displaced in this tough economy, yet I believe that our
government money is better spent on training programs to teach our workers
skills to survive our "new" economy.
They need to get off "unemployment welfare" prepared to enter the job
market armed with new skills. Unfortunately, many unemployment receivers don't
take time to update their skill level rather they keep applying for jobs that
don't exist anymore.
I took unemployment
benefits once in my mid-20's when I was laid off from a local station selling
radio time to advertisers. This was the
fourth time I was laid-off or fired in 3 years and either I was either very
unlucky or very bad at my job to have so many jobs in such a short time. I used my unemployment benefits as a bridge
to a new career in real estate. I knew
it was time to change careers, so I downsized my overhead and got an apartment
with two roommates, and went to get a real estate license. I only had 6 months of unemployment
compensation, but I managed to change careers during that time and this was
during a recession.
It's time for an extension
of federally backed unemployment compensation benefits to end. 99 weeks is a very long time to find someway
to support yourself, even in this slow economy.
If you are truly committed to finding work and accountable for your own
career success by taking the steps needed to find work rather than waiting for
a check from the government, you can make it without unemployment
compensation. If not, there's always
welfare you can fall back on, but most don't want to apply and some will have