SACRAMENTO, CA - Thousands of unemployed Californians got their last unemployment insurance check this week.
The Employment Development Department sent out notices to all the people who could be impacted by the delay or could see their benefits cut off.
EDD estimates nearly 100,000 people statewide were collecting on 20 weeks of "FedEd Aid." Those benefits will be terminated until Congress takes action.
People who just finished their first 26 weeks of unemployment benefits will also be affected.
"Originally, the extension benefits were supposed to expire at the end of 2009. Three times already in 2010, Congress has done short little extensions," EDD spokeswoman Loree Levy said. "Unfortunately, it's allowed the program to collapse. So, we're at the point we can l longer file whole extension benefits for people."
Statewide, 1.5 million people are claiming some sort of unemployment benefit. Of those, 129,000 unemployed workers have completely run out of available benefits after the 99 week limit.
"It's unfortunate in this state, which has the eighth-largest economy in the world, that we have so many people unemployed," said Terrance White. "I used to be in the mortgage industry. And, it's tough right now. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like either Congress or the state of California knows what to do."
New statewide unemployment numbers will be released Friday by EDD.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org