Things could go from bad to worse this weekend for thousands of unemployed Indiana residents. Beginning this Sunday, federal unemployment benefits will run out.
Many who are out of work are on federal extension 1 (EEUC – Emergency Extended Unemployment Compenstation), which provides 20 weeks of federal assistance.
But workers will lose those benefits because the U.S. Congress has been unwilling to extend them.
“Based on this, we’re estimating about 4,000 Hoosiers a week will begin exhausting their benefits as of this Sunday,” said Valarie Kroeger, spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the state’s unemployment services agency.
But the draught on unemployment benefits will likely continue. Even more unemployed Hoosiers are at risk of losing benefits as the weeks go on, Kroeger said.
According to Kroeger, an additional 16,000 people are on the Extended Benefit (EB), which provides up to 13 additional weeks of assistance through the federal government. “It’s a benefit of last resort,” Kroeger said.
Many Hoosiers on start to lose EB benefits starting Dec. 12.
Kroeger said unless Congress extends unemployment benefits for all programs, there’s not much states like Indiana can do.
“They’re Congress. They can do pretty much whatever they want,” she said.
But Kroeger said the state of Indiana can still provide some services to unemployed residents.
“Our Work One centers can help Hoosiers get back in the workforce. Whether it be through resume development, whether they need to brush up on their career skills, computer skills or if they need training,” Kroeger said. “We also have business consultants that are out in the community working with local businesses and they know who’s hiring. So if you come to our Work One centers we can work with you to find someone who is hiring in your field and help you get your foot in the door.”
Unemployment news isn’t much better in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Employment Security estimates 127,000 people in the state could lose jobless benefits this month.