CHARLESTON, W.Va. – As many as 6,900 West Virginians are among the estimated more than 1.3 million people across the United States who will see their federal emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) benefits end on Saturday.

The U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives failed to approve an extension for the program that provides those benefits, which were first implemented in 2008 after the recession, before leaving Washington, D.C. for the holiday break.

Dave Watson, assistant director of benefits for WorkForce West Virginia, said they’ve been taking a lot of calls from state residents about the coming end of the benefits.  “Most claimants are understanding and know where it’s come (from),” said Watson of the Congressional inaction.  “There is some concern.”

Watson said the number of affected West Virginians is an estimate based on the people collecting EUC, or the long-term unemployment benefits, in the Mountain State as of November.

In West Virginia, when a person loses his or her job, he or she is eligible for 26 weeks of unemployment benefits from the state.  After that 26 week window closes, those who have still not found work in the Mountain State qualify for 28 weeks of EUC benefits which are paid by the federal government, meaning a possible 54 total weeks of unemployment.

It’s those federal payments that are ending because Republicans opposed a one year extension which would have cost an estimated $25 billion.

Democrats are expected to push for a three month extension of EUC benefits when members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House return to Washington, D.C. in January.  House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has said he would support an extension only if corresponding cuts are made elsewhere in the federal budget.

Watson said any extension, depending on its specifics and when it was approved, would take time to implement fully to resume payments.

Until the matter is addressed, Watson said those losing their benefits this weekend can find additional job resources at www.workforcewv.org and at WorkForce West Virginia offices across the state.

“There’s other services we provide too such as potential training, job openings and other employment-type services,” said Watson.

West Virginia’s unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in November, compared with seven percent nationwide.

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Comments

  • Gary Camden

    For each job the average recruiter handles a Minimum of 200 resumes. So in 10 months, I have applied for at least 5 jobs on average a day, which is well over a 1000, and have had 3 face to face interviews. I started my search July 1, 2013 and my benefits were suspended December 28, 2013. I have continued to look and apply for jobs out of my field, asked for less compensation, and all that gets me is I am either over or under qualified as a 56 year old Senior Manager. Who by the way has been, OR WAS A LIFE long Republican. Listen, I WANT TO WORK! Now you are talking about training programs, and education. Right now, for me, it is too late. I need work now, or an income supplement. we have lost everything, and now have no answers. We kept thinking our party would do the right thing once the Democrats got it pushed through, but to our dismay, we have found there is no understanding or compassion from the leaders of our party. If I can get my benefits extended and don't find work, I will take any training available that will help me become a working member of society again. But right now that is not the answer, right no we are headed for the streets. Senator Boehner, head of our party, do what is right for not just myself, but all the Americans in the same shape. And I promise a number of them are lifelong Republicans. That could very well change. MAY GOD HAVE YOU DO THE RIGHT THING!

  • Leabeth fisher

    My husband has been out of work since may2013....he has not received any benefits since the dec deadline....we depended on that money for our mortgage...now we have nothing except my paycheck that does not cover everything...ad doon as the weather clears he will work....is there any news of when the euc will be reinstated for west viginia before we all lose everything?

  • MT

    good jobs are out there, you have an education

    we do not need ditch diggers anymore

  • JimJim

    We should all remember "Shutdown Shelly"!

  • LEE ARTHUR

    Hey people there are many jobs in the USA , you just have to get off your butt's and look for them . When I left the state in " 67" I never looked back , it's the best decision I ever made. They don't call WV dirt poor for nothing.

  • Bill Hill

    I live in Hardy county, home of the poultry industry. Someone explain to me why Pilgrims Pride imports workers from other countries to work in their plant here in Moorefield and yet we have politicians screaming for an extension of unemployment benefits? The work may not be the greatest, but it does pay and keeps one off the dole.

    • JimJim

      The company pays imported workers less. Then the company makes more money. It's the American Way.

  • jeff

    I was fired for a answer on a survey question I took , if I was treated like a customer instead I was treated like I didn't matter this wouldn't have happened. Some companies fire people unfairly and should be held responsible . This at-will state such as West Virginia , ive been there for 5 years and they fired people for the dumbest reasons, they should investigate these companies, like a dodge dealership in Wheeling west virgina

    • Joe

      First off, I am sure there were other reasons than that. Your attitude comes across loud and clear even in a typed message.

      Also, and most importantly....life is unfair. Do not like it, be your own boss.

  • winston

    right to work would help

    • JimJim

      Ha Ha Ha,, you're kidding, right!

  • Jason412

    If everyone "moved where good jobs are" the population of WV would fall about 2/3(a guess, not a fact). Between the people working dead end jobs to make ends meet, the unemployed, and kids just entering the job market Id say thats about 2/3 of the population that could better themselves by moving.

    Personally, moving out of state was the best thing I ever did for myself. If not for family obligations I would of never came back and not thought twice about it. A lot of people in their early 20's like myself feel the same way, and will continue to take their skills and education elsewhere, which will inevitably continue to contribute to the decline of WV for all of its residents.

  • Fed Up

    There r hundred of jobs here if people would just get of their rear and go looking. But it's much easier to sit home and get a check in the mail. Enough said ..

    • JimJim

      Right, keep dreaming.

  • Fairport

    In WV if the people would fight for more industries to come to our state the way the people fight for coal jobs, we would not be in bad shape in southern part of the state. The community leaders and people in these areas need to travel to other parts of WV to see how thriving the state really is! Stop whining about coal as it is not coming back like it was. Just like when the continuous mining machine took over mining and thousands upon thousands of jobs were lost, coal camps rotted down, company stores died, cities became ghost towns, to name a few things.

    • Aaron

      What type of jobs would you recommend these civic leaders fight for, where will they place the work sites and how will the goods be delivered to and from these industries?

  • Fairport

    I was shocked to find that all the newspapers in WV had no jobs in the classified. No wonder we still had 6900 on long-term unemployment. I also think it is ridiculous for someone to move to find work after the mines/factory/business shuts down. As we all know this has never happened in the history of America.

    • Joe

      I suggest you look at the newspapers of Morgantown, Fairmont and Clarksburg. Also, the state DOH announcd they have thousand jobs they cannot fill.

      Stop with the lame excuses.

      • Fairport

        Joe I was speaking with tongue in check. I just read an article where a city is begging people to apply for jobs as trash truck drivers at a good wage. Jobs are here but companies are not going to drag someone off his/her couch.

        • GregG

          Funny you should mention that. On one of the roads I travel regularly I often get behind a trash truck. Now this is what I would consider a very dangerous, twisting, turning, back road with very steep hills. On several occasions I have sit behind this truck on a steep grade unable to even go around it, while the driver has to get out and toss the trash into the truck. Now I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but in my opinion that is totally uncalled for and down right dangerous to being operating a trash truck with only one employee. Actually I am utterly amazed that OSHA allows this. And when one of the employees gets hurts or the unmanned, idling truck rolls back and hits another vehicle (they sure don't look to be the safest trucks on the road), then what? Oh I know, that's where we need that tort reform everyone keeps screaming about.

          • Fairport

            One thing for sure, we need no tort reform. In fact we have had so much tort reform insurance companies are making millions from hardworking wv people. My insurance did not go down even though the insurance companies have won every thing they wanted! They need two workers per truck as you say. But if they only got one what do you do with the trash if they don't work.

      • Bondo

        However, the state is ready to implement a hiring freeze. . .

        • Joe

          Ok...so you then look at the other opportunities.

  • David

    You all need to be careful on what you say!! One of these days it might be YOU that's out of a job, and then, oops....my unemployment ran out, I have nothing in savings, I had to drain my 401k.....Now what do I do???? Some people wont go out and look for work, but some do!!!

    • Joe

      Also check out WVU and WVU Hospital openings. Also search monster.com regardless of region of the country.

      I just found thousands of potential opportunities in 3 minutes.

      • The bookman

        You are missing David's point, Joe. You see, David's heart is larger than the average heart. Certainly larger than mine or yours...we look at the expiration of these benefits and say, "It's about time!" Go find a job, and here is how you do it! Wow! Look at the opportunities! C'mon, you CAN do it!

        David sees the image of the unemployed who don't heed that call...settle into the "Oh woe is me!" mentality and have nowhere to go but the couch.

        The truth is that both outcomes are accurate. There will be those who find new opportunities and those who don't. The difference between you and I and David is the enormity of his heart. He will always come down on the side of saving every last possible soul as that is the responsibility of government. We will always rely on the individual to rise to occasion and make the most of the opportunities in front of them, as self improvement cannot be the responsibility of government.

        He can't understand the coarseness of our philosophy, and we cannot get past his inability to see the bigger picture, that even if we had the money to extend these and other benefits into perpetuity, which we don't, it does not serve those receiving the benefit as it creates a cycle of dependency that repeats through generations.

        Thanks for trying to convince him, though! I've been trying to hire since August and get lots of responses from people filling out paperwork for WorkForce WV, but few who were really looking for a job. My guess is that maybe that will change going into the new year!

        • Joe

          I wonder if any thought and stat calculation has been given to the economic impact on business owners and their human resources staff resulting from wasted hours reviewing applications and resumes from applicants simply going through the motions without any true intent on seriously considering the opportunity.

          • The bookman

            JimJim:

            My last hire came from Ohio!

          • JimJim

            Do you get employees from out of state?

          • The bookman

            No, because no one cares about the wasted resources of business owners!

      • WVgirl

        I'm from Parkersburg and I went to WVU (on a promise scholarship) where I obtained an engineering degree. I could not find ANY good jobs in WV after graduation so I had to move to the Midwest. The jobs for people with technical degrees are just not there in WV like other states. I had no other choice but to move where the money/opportunity is, and it is definitely NOT in WV, sadly...

        • JimJim

          You're 100% correct. In 30 years you can retire in WV. Good Luck!

    • Joe

      Why again exactly do disability claims rise with extended unemployment?!

    • Joe

      This would only happen to someone who refuses to attempt to go to where the jobs are, have done nothing proactively to improve their marketability, did not save appropriately in the event of a layoff or firing situation, or numerous other empty excuses. The powder river basin and shale industry have an incredible amount of openings companies cannot fill.

      The typical scenario is that collecting unemployment will be done until it is exhausted, then I will start looking seriously. That is the inconvenient truth.

      • David

        Joe, I'm the 'other' David, the regular poster here... Growing up in southern WV, working in a business which relied largely on summer-vacationing coal miners, I was always puzzled by laid-off coal miners who wouldn't look for or accept lower-paying jobs, and wouldn't leave their home towns to find jobs. They had grown up where they were, had worked there, and they were staying there whether there was work for them or not - and they wouldn't work for less.

      • SamWvu304

        With this whole ordeal happening,watch for crime rate to double. drugdealing,stealing,killing..Those industries you speak of have a zero tolerance in effect now.That's why they can't fill the positions. So you want to control what We do at home,but not pay US while I'm home? How can. you tell me people would want that? "WE THE PEOPLE " ARE FREE?????but not when you work for so n so..

  • Harpers Ferry

    While I agree that those out of work should find jobs, whatever it may be, to support their families, it's much more difficult than that, and to the fault of WV. How do you find a job in places of of WV that live and die off the coal industry (i.e., southern WV)? These out-of-state coal companies came in, got a sweet-heart deal from our state gov't and skipped town after they got what they wanted (money) with no care for the people that worked the mines. What is sad is that WV will repeat that mistake with natural gas companies just as they did the coal and timber companies that have pillaged our land for 150 years. I'm a Conservative, yet even I don't blame this on Obama because it's common sense to know that there's only so much coal you can mine. Coal is not an unlimited supply, just like natural gas. Think LONG TERM, not short term!!!

    • susanf1218

      How do you find a job, you ask? It's simple - you move to where the jobs are instead of sitting there waiting for the jobs to come to you. And in some places, like southern WV, those jobs aren't ever going to come.

      • JimJim

        You are 100% correct! So, don't be stupid, more to another state.

  • Gary Karstens

    Mean old Republicans!