We've talked to a lot of people during the recession who've been put out of work and absolutely need their unemployment benefits to make ends meet. Now it appears the extension of jobless aid from the feds is near an end.
The Pioneer Press this morning reported, "In Minnesota, about 600 people a week are exhausting their benefits. State officials estimate that number will double in September."
We'll be taking a deeper look at the issue in upcoming posts checking in with MPR's Public Insight Network to see how those who've been getting jobless benefits are faring.
They are people like Kristine Holmgren, who told us her story back in March of being unemployed while trying to hang on to her home.
"I am in the final, final, final cycle of unemployment benefits," she wrote us this afternoon.
My "balance" is $4800 -- and will expire, I estimate, in early September. I was SO hoping for an extension of benefits - but I'm not planning on it.Some of the biggest frustration we've heard from Holmgren and others in our Network revolves around just getting straight answers to questions like: Exactly what unemployment aid is available from state and federal sources? How much do I have left? When, precisely, is the end?
Please, let me know if you hear ANYTHING about an extension.
Holmgren says she's been trying to get answers on what Thursday's Senate vote means for her future but with no luck yet.
I've called Klobuchar and Franken's office - - - but their staffs are woefully inadequate in this issue. They seem to know next-to-nothing about our predicament here. No one, no one can answer any questions about the legislation that currently failed.