Residents Worry About Loss Of Federal Unemployment Benefits - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Residents Worry About Loss Of Federal Unemployment Benefits

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.- At the end of the year unemployment benefits will end for nearly 40,000 Tennesseans and some residents are worried about what could happen next.

For the past six months Ericka Endsley's has spent most of her days either at a computer or in her car looking for a job. The licensed security guard will join thousands of Tennesseans who will face a tough reality when the federal extensions of unemployment end in December.

"I have retail experience, so I am beginning to put my licenses aside to where I was getting $10 an hour to $7.25 again," said Endsley.

Starting January 1st 39,000 unemployed Tennesseans will lose their federal unemployment benefits.

"At least half of the people on unemployment in Tennessee, their benefits will expire at the end of the year. These are the people who are on the federal extensions of unemployment," said Jeff Hentschel with the Department of Labor.

Hentschel said the federal extensions were put in place during the recession to help the unemployed who ran out of state unemployment. Often times the state and federal benefits would equal out to 99 weeks of benefits.

"The state's program will continue to be here; it's unchanged. It's approximately 6 months for everyone, 26 weeks. That's not going anywhere, that's going to remain," said Hentschel.

Hentschel also said some residents may have received letters saying they have a certain number of weeks left on their federal unemployment benefits, but he reminds those on federal unemployment that those benefits run out on December 31.

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