Today on CNN Newsroom

The latest news and information from around the world. Also connect with CNN through social media. We want to hear from you.
October 28th, 2009
09:59 AM ET

Americans Losing Lifelines

As is reporting, the Senate is one step closer to extending jobless benefits. In the Newsroom, we're explaining where the legislation stands, and how it would help the millions of Americans struggling with unemployment.
Looking for work? Check out our Economy Tracker, and find more info at

Filed under: Josh Levs
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    This may come as a shock to you but the middle class and the poor despise the president giving our stimulus money to the utility company's these people have gouged money from all of our pockets with heartless greed for over 30 yrs and it just gets worst how many people will his plan put to work and in what states and how much will our electric bills rise for this new add on .

    October 28, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  2. Tia

    I have seen much attention given to the Unemployed who are not receiving benefits. Employers have been advised by legal organizations to appeal unemployment claims for employees in order to save their employers unemployment insurance tax. Keep in mind that if an employee is deem unemployed at no fault of their own by the employment security commission the employers must pay from their unemployment insurance fund. With the current extensions in effect employers will pay more to cover unemployed employees.The at-will termination laws have been abused. I would love to see an investigation to determine the number of employees denied unemployment benefits due to "misconduct" and the reason.

    We might be surprised at what we might see constitutes a denial of employment benefits based on misconduct. A veteran was terminated in North Carolina while seeking medical attention for PTSD. The veteran was denied unemployment benefits for misconduct. I am sure there are many unemployed who are not receiving benefits, and life is shattered because of a false misconduct claim.

    What kind of country have we become?

    October 28, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  3. Tia

    Correction: I have NOT seen much attention given to the Unemployed who are not receiving unemployment benefits after being terminated from employment.

    October 28, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  4. Robert Lake,MI

    When will we start calling this welfare instead of unemployment? Why are people today more important than people a few years ago who lost their jobs? Why are people connected to the auto industry granted longer stints with unemployment than others who have no connection to the auto industry? By law all that is guaranteed is 26 weeks no matter how long and how much you worked. Hey Obama quit worrying about health care and get jobs back here! Start passing laws that protect American jobs and pass laws that punish those who eliminate American jobs! We must stop sending our wealth out of the country. Make those countries responsible for their own populations! If a country only has enough money to feed their people then thats all they get. We cant provide for the rest of the world or it will be your children and grandchildren who will suffer those actions!

    October 28, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  5. Randy N

    This country is not well We all know this, We also know that this goverment has been the cause of the problems for more than 2 score ( 40 years) in this country. You will not even consider the fact that I may be able to do somthing to help, I can get things moving in this country, I could have jobs going in 3 days, I plan on using the people to fix this country, That is the problem with this country at the moment our goverment is using the people as a piggy bank, I will return the power to the people.

    October 28, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  6. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    The American people dont want jobless benefits they want jobs they want to be able to take care of there familys and buy christmas the government needs to start giving to the poor and out of work not to Al Gores get green sceams .

    October 28, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  7. David Vano, FLA

    I have a problem with continued unemployment payments. I have talked to several employers who need help, in FL there are many seasonal people required and some indicate that they can'd get people to work until there are completely out of funds...broke. Is that telling me that there are jobs but not being filled until the "free" money runs out?

    October 28, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  8. A. Smith

    The Republican Party has exported American Jobs and Factories overseas routinely for the past 10 years so I rather doubt any of the Republican House or Senate members care one iota about extending any unemployment insurance benefits to American Workers.

    Regardless if American Workers paid for the Unemployment Insurance which funds Unemployment Benefits, the Republican Party is actively working to cut those funds off legally and move those Billions of dollars to other projects.

    A. Smith

    October 31, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  9. Linda Henderson

    It's hard enough being on unemployment without the added burden of looking forward to benefits ending, and the worry of how we, or our children, will pay for the benefits we are receiving. Why didn't Bush see this coming?

    November 1, 2009 at 8:36 am |
  10. Michael

    Bill 3548 was signed a month ago by the House. The Senate's persistent procrastination on this issue is reprehensible. Now, after 25 years of hard work I have nothing as my benefits ran out in September. Is the Senate eager to see the foreclosure rate rise???

    November 1, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  11. Evelyn Hayes

    I hope that the Government doesn't restrict unemployment to only the highest unemployed states, I believe all states should have an extension of unemployment benefits. Winter is coming and how will these people heat and provide food for their families? I believe that if we can send help to every other country, why can't we help our own? Our country needs to move some of the money out of the budgets of helping other countries and put it into our own country's needs, so our American people can stand proud again, instead of feeling defeated with applying for numerous jobs and still not getting them after being laid off,. We need to establish the policy of "Help the American people" rather than every one else in the World first. Once our country and the American people are back on their feet, then we provide additional help to other nations, but right now we need the help here. I have never known any country that budgets to help other nations before meeting their own country's needs!!

    November 1, 2009 at 8:38 am |
  12. Glenn Sophie

    Dear Josh,
    Half the people in this country live paycheck to paycheck. The extending UC Compensation is critical for many of us in all of the States. I'm 60 years old and out of work. I have 40 years of experience and job search every day. I can't even get an interview because there are so many candidates for every opening. Many of the people losing there benefits will be forced to go on Public Assistance. Providing UC benefits will help keep them off welfare. It's a no brainer !
    Rgds, Glenn Sophie

    November 1, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  13. Dan Magnolia Tx.

    Why don't all states qualify for the extension. My state will miss the cut off by .3%. I'd like nothing more than to have a job. But if i don't when the benefits run out i will lose everything! I know there are millions in this position. That's why all states should get the extension.

    November 1, 2009 at 8:53 am |
  14. joyce s

    My husband has been unemployed since May of 07. He was laid off after he had serious surgery and was on unpaid recuperation leave for 2 mos. When he went back to work (automobile sales industry) he was told that there was not enough work, and laid off. There are no jobs in car sales. No one is hiring. He has 20 years experience. TN has a very high rate of unemployment. He now has run out of benefits. (4 weeks ago) He is 4 years old, not a good age to be looking for a job. Now he has no income. (How much did the banks get in a bail out?) He wants to work, he's depressed. Now he needs another surgery (no Insurance, but we did get some monetary help with this)

    Now we are also loosing our home, thanks to all of this.

    November 1, 2009 at 9:02 am |
  15. bryan greer

    Never been active in polotics,just as an observer.I worked for textile industry for 20 an hourly employee. I saw the reduction of textile production in our country . Went back to school became a industrial electrician.still the mill kept shutting down. I decided to leave the place whrere i worked to start with a electric co. Traveled the USA upgrading electrical drives for production purposes . I watched as our business faded to nothing and ended up in unemployment line. Now i am accused of being lazy and told to get a job. I have always tried to see the wall before it falls.To forget these people i have work with and around my whole life is a insult from a wasteful ,decitiful,and uncaring leaders.I feel ashamed of us all.Please help my daughter who is in college,my girlfriend who lives with me and her son....... thank you

    November 1, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  16. joyce s

    continued. due to the UNEMPLOYMENT, we are loosing out home. BANK OF AMERICA WILLL NOT MODIFY MORTGAGE AS OBAMA SAID. We hae been trying since March to get a modification agreement in the "Save our Homes" program. They put us off for 8 months, we called constantly, waited on hold for hours. In August they sent us a "modification Agreemnt" adding $12,000. to our principle, lowering the interest to 7.5%, an upping our payment by $100.00 a month. What kind of modification is that. I am 66 ahd on Social Security and that is more that my monthly check.

    Two hardworking people all out lives, paid our bills, raised good, drug free, crime free children that have good educations. Now some of them are having financial problems too.

    THANKS BUSH, THANKS BAIL OUT MONEY, THANKS BANK OF AMERICA, we've tried and tried, now probably giving up. Can't handle the stress and strain anymore.

    November 1, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  17. Debra

    I wonder how much of the unemployment rate is also due to fewer workers retiring this year? I haven't heard this reported, but I really think that at least 1-3% of the unemployment problem has its roots in the disruption of the normal retirement numbers this year. I looked it up at the Dept. of Labor and both the Separation Levels and Quit Levels are down.

    I am 53 and this is the first generation to be affected by the switch from the majority having pension plans to the majority having 401K-type plans. This causes people to delay retirement. This could be causing a huge trickle down effect. I see this every day. Even my parents (in their late 70s) are still working to supplement their retirement checks.

    This could be a big story.

    November 1, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  18. Sylvia M Miller

    Hi, I have 21 years service at UPMC McKeesport Hospital and they are terminated me because I used up my 26 weeks of being off work because I found out that I had thyroid and breast cancer. I found out in November, 2008. Since then I was off of work from November to March. Return to work but the chemo made me ill where I missed more work. The last time I went on a leave was Oct. 1 and I'm still on leave because when they radiated my breast, they also radiated part of my lungs causing me to get pneumonia. I received a letter on Oct 28th stating if I did not return to work by Nov 7th, I would be terminated from UPMC McKeesport. I will not have insurance, and my one pill along will run me 339.00 plus I still have to get a IV chemo drug. I don't think it is fair that this big corporation takes over a small community hospital and can terminated a employee with 21 years of service with a blink of an eye, WHERE IS JUSTICE. If you know of some type of Insurance I can get would you pleas inform me or is there help for us.


    November 1, 2009 at 9:06 pm |
  19. Stuart

    I'm on my third extension of Unemployment. I'd rather be working. I send out an average of 40 cover letters and resumes a day. I've been on dozens of interviews.
    Several months ago I paid for a business license ( $27 in my county).
    I would love to have just a FRACTION of the $2.3 BILLION so graciously given to CIT, I could have launched a small business and YES, perhaps hired two or three people that are UNEMPLOYED.
    Now CIT has filed for bankruptcy.
    Where's OUR $2.3 BILLION ???
    Where's MY SLICE OF THE PIE?
    I could have done something with some of that $$$$$.
    Instead of taking the money and KNOWING in advance that I was going to file bankruptcy a few months later.

    I'd like to at least get "Kissed" when things like this happens to me, ya know??

    Stuart in Marin.

    November 5, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  20. spc gary w graham

    i tell you that it is a shame we are getting deployed and have to watch our backs here

    November 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm |