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90,000 May Lose Unemployment Long Term Benefits in 2014

12-13-13

By Desirée Taylor
Senior Correspondent

“It’s extremely scary,” said John Fugazzie.

What’s scary, John Fugazzie said, is losing his safety net. His extended unemployment benefits will soon expire, just three days after Christmas.

“People are going to have to feed me and my family. I’d have to rely on help from family and friends. So there’s no doubt that you are really looking for help in personal circles,” said Fugazzie.

Fugazie isn’t alone. The decision by congress not to renew long term unemployment benefits affects some 90,000 New Jerseyans. Among them, Lottie Palmer, who says she depends on that money to make ends meet.

“I don’t think it’s right. People still need to survive out here. They still need to to pay bills and take care of themselves and without the benefits how are people going to live” said Palmer.

The federal extended emergency unemployment insurance program kicks in after the standard 26 weeks of payments. Congress designed it to help the long-term unemployed during the great recession. It’s just a temporary program, and the national and state unemployment rate has dropped. But Fugazzie, who lost his job and his home in the past year says New Jersey’s job market has yet to bounce back.

“There’s been so much reduction in companies, consolidation, outsourcing, there are so many factors that have really contributed to the lack of jobs. It has impacted me directly,” said Fugazzie.

Along with searching for a job, Fugazzie is also helping other unemployed residents through an organization called “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”

“We are basically an all volunteer search group. We provide support and networking help and we are an education. What we are really doing is peer leadership. other people are out of work, we meet weekly and we talk about all the things you need to do to get yourself back to work,” said Fugazzie.

One stop career centers, located throughout the state, are designed to help job seekers, says Newark Manager Morris Murray.

“They can use our computers to assist them in their job search. usually every day someone is coming up to me and letting me know that they have finally found a job,” said Murray

Congressman Donald Payne is among the lawmakers calling on his colleagues to renew the extended benefits program. That would require a separate bill.

If congress doesn’t take action another 80,000 New Jersey residents will lose their long term unemployment benefits in the first half of 2014.


  • Soon to be homeless

    PLEASE CONGRESS!! PLEASE EXTEND THE UNEMPLOYMENT TO HELP US A LITTLE LONGER UNTIL WE FIND WORK. THE MAJORITY OF US NEVER ASKED TO BE HERE. THE FORECLOSURES THAT WILL BE COMING IN 2014 WILL BE UNBELIEVABLE IF YOU DON’T HELP US. IN ADDITION, WE ARE TRYING TO COUGH UP MONIES TO PAY FOR THE NEW HEALTH CARE LAW OBAMACARE. ITS SO SAD, I HAVE NEVER ENVISIONED MYSELF, A COLLEGE GRADUATE WITH A COLLEGE WIFE AND 10 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER BROKE, LAID OFF 5 TIMES, NO SAVINGS AND HEALTH ISSUES AT THE AGE OF 46. YOU POLITICIANS REALLY MESSED THINGS UP. THE ONLY TIME YOU REALLY SEEM TO HELP IS WHEN YOU NEED US TO GO TO THE POLLS. WE NEED HELP NOW!!! NOT THE UNITED NATIONS WHOM IS EXPECTED TO RECEIVE BILLIONS IN EXTRA FUNDING. DAMMIT CHRISTIE!!!! NOW YOU CAN SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM THE PACK AND INSTILL SOME ENCOURAGEMENT BY EXTENDING A LITTLE LONGER THE UNEMPLOYMENT TO HELP US.

  • Soon to be homeless

    Soon to be homeless
    • in a few seconds

    PLEASE CONGRESS!! PLEASE EXTEND THE UNEMPLOYMENT TO HELP US A LITTLE LONGER UNTIL WE FIND WORK. THE MAJORITY OF US NEVER ASKED TO BE HERE. THE FORECLOSURES THAT WILL BE COMING IN 2014 WILL BE UNBELIEVABLE IF YOU DON’T HELP US. IN ADDITION, WE ARE TRYING TO COUGH UP MONIES TO PAY FOR THE NEW HEALTH CARE LAW OBAMA CARE. ITS SO SAD, I HAVE NEVER ENVISIONED MYSELF, A COLLEGE GRADUATE WITH A COLLEGE WIFE AND 2 KIDS, NO SAVINGS, LAID OFF DUE TO DOWNSIZING AND CANNOT FIND WORK BECAUSE I M OVER QUALIFIED. YOU POLITICIANS REALLY MESSED THINGS UP. THE ONLY TIME YOU REALLY SEEM TO HELP IS WHEN YOU NEED US TO GO TO THE POLLS. WE NEED HELP NOW!!! NOT THE UNITED NATIONS WHOM IS EXPECTED TO RECEIVE BILLIONS IN EXTRA FUNDING. DAMMIT CHRISTIE!!!! NOW YOU CAN SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM THE PACK AND INSTILL SOME ENCOURAGEMENT BY EXTENDING A LITTLE LONGER THE UNEMPLOYMENT TO HELP US.