The 99ers, as they call themselves, are those people who have been unemployed for more than two years and have exhausted the full 99 weeks of state and federal unemployment benefits.
As part of the stimulus package, a 20 week federal extension was offered to participants. The mean average in 2011 for unemployment checks is $330 per week, according to MSN Money magazine. The average income in 2011 for an individual is approximately $550 per week. That means a 99er is making at least $220 a week less than normal. Once you use up your unemployment money, unless there is another extension, finding a job is critical.
US Today posted an article on May 17, 2011, written by William M. Welch, on the 99ers’ loss of benefits from long-term joblessness. He used this personal bankruptcy story of Susan Harrell of Akron, Ohio, as an illustration:
“Harrell, 58, has been jobless for more than two years and exhausted the full 99 weeks of state and federal unemployment benefits available to her. After earning as much as $60,000 a year, Harrell was laid off from her telecommunications job in 2005 and in April 2009, from a part-time bookkeeping job.
She says she has gone through her savings and 401(k) retirement plan. She’s lost her home, her car and health insurance and filed for bankruptcy. That was while drawing a $260-a-week unemployment check; now that is gone as well. She recently signed up for food stamps.
Harrell sees signs that her job outlook improving, particularly for low-paying jobs. However, she says few people seem interested in hiring someone her age, despite legal prohibitions on age discrimination.”
Not only has Harrell lost her job, she has lost her home, car, health insurance, retirement benefits and self-esteem. She had to file for bankruptcy to start over. Her story is similar to other people filing for bankruptcy protection.
Her unemployment benefits are about to run out. Harrell, like so many others, will have to take a job making much less than she has made in the past. This is termed “underemployment”, and outsourcing has been one of primary contributors to underemployment.
If you are laid-off or fired, younger and more inexperienced workers will often apply for your old job. Employers will hire these new employees for less, expecting them to remain with their company longer because they are younger. Many statistics show there are more than 200 qualified applicants for each job opening in today’s work market.
If you are a 99er like Harrell, there are no easy answers. You have the option, like she did, of starting over. You can file for bankruptcy, but you may need a bankruptcy lawyer who can answer your bankruptcy questions.
If you need relief from the stress of debt and you live in or around the metropolitan areas of Seattle, Bellevue, or Everett, Washington, contact us at www.betterbankruptcy.com .We will help you find a bankruptcy attorney in your area who will answer your bankruptcy questions.
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