Long-term unemployed in RI due to lose benefits - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Long-term unemployed in RI due to lose benefits

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By News Staff

news@abc6.com

The Associated Press

Some 4,900 long-term unemployed in Rhode Island are losing their extra jobless benefits as the state continues to grapple with a 9 percent unemployment rate, which is tied with Nevada as the highest in the nation.

Boston anti-poverty agency, Action for Boston Community Development Inc., says 141,000 Massachusetts residents are among 1.3 million people losing benefits nationwide.

The federal program that since 2008 has provided extra benefits to those who have exhausted their 26 weeks of regular unemployment is due to end Saturday. Up to 21 additional weeks have been available.

Congressman David Cicilline is vowing to take action.

"The minute Congress is back in session on January 7th I will introduce a bill to retro-actively extend these benefits and make sure it is paid for by eliminating unnecessary subsidies and closing corporate tax loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas. I have written a letter to Speaker Boehner asking that he take up this bill immediately upon our return."

Senator Jack Reed has already introduced a bill in the Senate that would extend the benefits for three months.

People losing the benefits say this is going to have them making some hard decisions.

"I've exhausted all of my funds that I've had, my 401K.  I am a breast cancer survivor," said Rhonda McMichael.

McMichael lost her job in September and is struggling to get by.

"So if you have no income you have to make decisions do I eat this week or do I pay for my pills for the month," said McMichael.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013

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