Extended Unemployment Benefits Ending, Del. Labor Dept. Using "J - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Extended Unemployment Benefits Ending, Del. Labor Dept. Using "Just in Case" Plan

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Extended federal unemployment benefits end Saturday to more than one million Americans.

The extended unemployment program has been around since 2008. It's gotten multiple continuations from Congress since that time. That did not happen this time.

It left a number of members of Congress, mainly Democrats, pretty upset following a bi-partisan budget agreement earlier this month. It also left a number of people who have been on unemployment for more than six months worried about what to do next.

Penny Moyer had just left the Delaware Division of Unemployment Insurance office in Dover when WBOC spoke with her. Moyer lost her job at people's place back in June.

"The funding was cut. I was one of the ones laid off. So, I started collecting unemployment," she said.

Moyer says she's been working hard to find a new job.

"I've been on several interviews. But I just turned 65 in November. And it's difficult to find a job at this age," she said. "My original unemployment claim runs out this week. The extension was supposed to start week. But I'm not sure if we're going to get it."

The Delaware Department of Labor says 3,500 Delawareans are immediately losing their extended unemployment benefits. That number doesn't include people like Moyer, who would soon be eligible for them.

"One of the things we're doing in the department just in case congress reinstates it," said Labor Sec. John McMahon. "we are having individuals in that circumstance continue to come in and register with us. We are also asking those who are on extended benefits to continue to come in and register with us."

McMahon says that way there will be no time lost in issuing checks if Congress acts. But that is just in case. And, even though she'll go through the motions to keep filing, "just in case" isn't providing much comfort to Moyer.

"The just in case doesn't seem very promising."

Sec. McMahon says he'd be very surprised if Congress doesn't end up passing an extension, even for a just a short period of time. A bill for a three-month extension could come before the senate as soon as the first week in January.

Sen. Chris coons, D-Delaware, told WBOC in a statement Friday he was disappointed the benefits hadn't already been extended.

"I hope that when the senate takes up a three-month extension when it reconvenes in January, it will earn the bipartisan support it deserves," the statement said.

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