Millions to lose unemployment benefits
HOUSTON Congress has failed to pass an extension of the benefits and some unemployed people have already been told their benefits have ended. More than half of Texans on unemployment benefits will lose their benefits by the end of the month. Around 85,000 Texans will immediately lose their unemployment benefits because no extensions were passed by Congress. And nearly 200,000 total unemployed workers in the state will see their biweekly benefit checks disappear in the coming weeks. "It is going to get worse, not better, that's not beneficial to anyone - cutting off the unemployment benefits," said Jessica Loving, who's looking for work. Loving has been surviving off unemployment benefits for six months, but she just found out the checks are not coming any longer. "I got my check yesterday and it was not what it normally is, so I decided to make a phone call today and the lady told me, well, you have exhausted your benefits and there are no more extensions, you will not receive unemployment," Loving said. Loving was receiving $302 a week in unemployment benefits, which is the average amount for out-of-work Texans. State officials tell us some Texans have been collecting unemployment benefits for 93 weeks, nearly two full years. Kimberly Williams lost her job a couple months ago and is now losing her unemployment benefits. "I have two small kids at home and it made me really kinda worried, like, what am I going to do next?" Williams said. "Because I am still searching for a job and it's just kind of hard right now." If Congress passes an extension of unemployment benefits, those who are out of work will see their benefits unemployment checks return. Without an extension, some see hard times ahead for everyone. "When people lose their benefits, they do not have any money coming in, they have a choice: they can either borrow from family or friends or commit a crime, and the crime rate is going to go up," said Dan Smith, who's also looking for work. As it stands right now, two million Americans are going to lose unemployment benefits before New Year's Day.