Unemployment benefit extensions to end - KMOV.com

Unemployment benefit extensions to end

Nearly 200,000 Missourians are out of work and drawing unemployment, and that money might be running out for some of them in a matter of weeks.

One of them is Tammy Moss, a woman that News 4 profiled in its "Ready to Work" series last summer.

She's been laid off for a year, and has been unsuccessful in her search to find a new job.

"I will continue to keep looking, I won't get discouraged," she said. My faith is strong. I'm not going to give up on it."

She is not alone. Unemployment offices are packed. Missouri provides 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. Period. Moss has been receiving benefits beyond that cut-off time thanks to federal government-funded emergency extensions.

This is how it worked. An applicant gets approved for the first tier, and would then receive 20 more weeks of benefits. After that, he or she could transition to tier two for 14 more weeks, tier three for another 13 weeks, and finally, tier four for six weeks.

"If I hadn't gotten the extension through President Obama, I probably wouldn't be living here today. So I'm truly thankful for the extensions they have done," Moss said.

But as of February 27th, the federal money begins to expire. There will be no more moving to a higher level. When your current tier expires, that's it. Tammy Moss has about four more weeks.

"I am frightened for that. Because if they don't do something, it's going to be really bad out here," she said. "We can't find jobs. It's not our fault we've been laid off, what are we supposed to do?"

Moss is worried about losing the home that once belonged to her late father. Her husband is employed, but they need her paycheck. She said she is praying an upcoming job interview she has with a former employer will be her saving grace.



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