This is hard to write, but I thought it could provide some perspective on an otherwise “effecting someone else” kind of story. The Federal Government’s decision not to extend unemployment insurance payments to those of us out of work for more than 6 months – well, it hits home. I am one of those considered “long-term unemployed.” And contrary to some Washington newsmakers, I am not laying around at home greedily collecting unemployment compensation.
I am searching for a new job every day, and have been for almost 9 months; networking, volunteering, blogging, applying, interviewing, and interviewing some more. Those who say I don’t have what that employer is looking for; well, OK, you may be right. But I have no doubt there are plenty of organizations that could use my 15 years of human resources leadership experience, Master’s degree and proven successes.
If you think it’s unfair to you, the taxpayer, to pay more unemployment insurance compensation to the “long-term unemployed,” please consider I have paid into the State unemployment insurance funds for more than 15 years. Now I need some of that money paid back, to help my family in this time of crisis.
While the unemployment compensation is 20% of my former salary, it is nonetheless a necessary part of what I need to continue to pay bills for my family’s survival. I have used almost all of the savings I socked away over the past several years, and am now digging into 401(k) plans, and having to pay penalties for using that money.
I’m not asking that you write to your Senator or Representative to get the additional funding. I’m simply asking that you consider thinking differently about the unemployment insurance extension discussion; a situation I never thought I would find myself in.
Thanks for listening to my story. SL