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Time’s almost up for jobless benefits

Alisa Roth Apr 2, 2010
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TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: And for the tens of thousands still out of work, the news doesn’t really change their dire situation: This is the last week of benefit checks for people who’ve been receiving extended unemployment benefits. Marketplace’s Alisa Roth reports from New York.


Alisa Roth: Rodolfo Franco found an ominous message when he opened his unemployment check this week: Benefit year ending April 12.

Rodolfo Franco: That never was there before.

He’s been getting $280 a week since he lost his job at a cell phone store. But his 99 weeks of unemployment benefits are about to run out, and he doesn’t know what’s going to happen next.

Franco: What else can I do? I mean just trying to see if I can get some type of income.

Franco is one of tens of thousands of people in New York and across the country who are reaching the outer limits of their unemployment insurance.

Chad Stone is chief economist at the think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

Chad Stone: There are not that many good options when you run out of benefits, because it’s still very, very hard to find a job.

Stone says there are other government programs, like food stamps and, in dire cases, welfare.

Congress is expected to approve another extension of benefits when it returns from break on April 12. But that won’t help people like Franco, who’ve already claimed the maximum amount.

In New York, I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.