Unemployment benefits to run out Wednesday for thousands of Ohioans


By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email


CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)  - The House voted down a bill on Tuesday that would have extended unemployment benefits for 1.6 million unemployed people.

Democrats said the country needs the extension to help the jobless pay their bills and boost the economy. The measure would have provided up to 99 weekly unemployment checks averaging $335 to people whose 26 weeks of state-paid benefits have run out. Republicans said the $33-billion price tag was just too much.

Without the extension, analysts say 200-thousand people a week will lose benefits. Thousands such as Autumn Frost.

Frost marks the days on her calendar until her unemployment benefits run out. She lost her job writing proposals in the spring of 2009. It's one she had for nine years.

"I've had to do a lot of moving around, because I can't pay my mortgage payment; lost my car," Frost said. "I had to move from the house I've been in for nine years."

Frost is trying to find a way to take care of her two kids. She said she spends her days looking for jobs.

"I've worked at least one job and a lot of times two since I was 15," said Frost. "I can't tell you the range of emotions. It's scary!"

And in her free time she checks on whether Congress will vote to extend unemployment benefits. She wants to go back to school, but her maximum 99 weeks of unemployment are about to run out.

"If there is no more extension for me, then I'll be going, hitting fast food restaurants until I can get my training," said Frost.

She's one of millions of Americans about to lose their benefits. 98,000 Ohioans will lose their benefits on Wednesday. More than 5,600 people who live in Hamilton County will lose their benefits on June 30th.

State workers said they expect more people to turn to food stamps and other aid. In the last year, the number of people in Ohio on food stamps increased 50-percent to 1.6 million. According to Hamilton County Job and Family Services, 4,000 more people have signed up for benefits in the last three months in Hamilton County. That number is only expected to rise in July.

The House is expected to vote again on the bill as early as Wednesday.

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