Senate votes down unemployment extension; 23,500 Virginians affected

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

GOOCHLAND, VA (WWBT) - We have a warning tonight for anyone currently getting unemployment benefits. Those checks may soon stop coming. It's already happened to some central Virginians, so they called 12, to find out why.

The bottom line: lawmakers in Washington haven't approved another extension. There used to be three levels of emergency compensation, but not anymore. So that means, once your current round of benefits run out -- you can't file to get more money.

Ricky Davis of Goochland has been filing unemployment for over a year. As a laid-off diesel mechanic, and a pretty darn good one, according to himself, Davis says there's just nothing out there for him.

"My job market is flooded. The whole city of Richmond is flooded with unemployed diesel mechanics," said Davis.

With $403 in unemployment benefits a week, Davis says he barely got by.

"It's keeping this apartment over my head, it's keeping the utilities paid, and my car insurance paid, but as far as the bills I that I had back when I was making $25/hour, no I guess I'm $50,000 in debt right now," he said.

On top of the regular unemployment benefits Davis has used up all three emergency extension programs totaling 47 extra weeks of pay. As far as he knows he's still under compensation under the state, but did not get his most recent check.

"I mean last week as far as I knew everything was good and I was depending on this check to do these things," Davis said.

According to the Virginia Unemployment Office, if Congress doesn't make a move on this by July 4 about 23,500 Virginians will be affected. That number includes job seekers in all three emergency tiers and those on regular unemployment.

If you have any questions, the Virginia Employment Commission urges you to give them a call at 866-832-2363. They can answer your questions.

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