Wisconsinites Could Lose Federal Jobless Benefits
About 40,000 people in the state will lose federal jobless benefits if we go over the fiscal cliff. Video by nbc26.comvideo
Tens of thousands of people in Wisconsin are keeping a close eye on Washington for another looming deadline tied to the fiscal cliff.
If we go over the cliff, federal jobless benefits will vanish for those in Wisconsin who are still without a job after 26 weeks.
Quin McGinn is part of the 6.9% who swallows their pride and comes to the Wisconsin Job Center in Green Bay.
"This is the first time I've ever experienced having a position eliminated," McGinn said.
The single mother of two lost her job Wednesday and applied to get state unemployment benefits for 26 weeks. If she can't find a job after that, she's eligible for 37 additional weeks of benefits through the federal government--but if we go over the fiscal cliff that extension is gone.
"It's kind of like being out alone in the world when you don't have help and those funds aren't available," McGinn said.
"Just to end it abruptly when unemployment is still as high as it is right now will be a big mistake," said Jon Peacock, director of the Wisconsin Budget Project.
Leaders from the Wisconsin Budget Project believe the $250 a week people get in federal jobless benefits can benefit everyone.
"The money that goes for those families who are relying on it, gets spent right away in our local communities. Especially in areas where there are higher unemployment rates," Peacock said.
Meanwhile McGinn perfects her resume in case we take the plunge.
"I went about a month and a half with no income, and that was devastating," McGinn said.
Recent reports show the unemployment rate at 7.7% nationally. Congress has until December 29th to make a decision on keeping the jobless benefits program in place.