Unemployment benefits are set to run out on Wednesday - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Unemployment benefits are set to run out on Wednesday

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Louisville Office of Employment and Training Louisville Office of Employment and Training
Gary Wise Gary Wise
Lamonica Smith Lamonica Smith
Deborah Trice Deborah Trice

By Katie Bauer email | bio

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) –The clock is ticking, as thousands of people in Kentucky and Indiana near the end of their unemployment benefits.

Benefits for those who have been out of work for six months or more will expire Tuesday at midnight, unless Congress steps in.

This could affect 2-million people nationwide and here at home the Louisville Office of Employment and Training has been swamped with people asking questions and just ultimately concerned about their future.

As the unemployment rate remains around 10% in Kentucky and Indiana, people spend hours a day at the Office of Employment and Training.

"They are anxious, they are worried, 'what am I going to do', it's an unfortunate situation, but there is not much we can do about it," said Gary Wise, Operations Administrator.

Wise says unless Congress decides to add an extension, benefits will exhaust on Wednesday. A tough situation to be in for people like Lamonica Smith who finds herself unemployed for the first time.

"I always had a job, since I've been able to work, since I've been a kid," said Smith.

Deborah Trice knows the feeling, as she spent the day waiting to get her unemployment check. She says just last month her job cut her hours in half, when money was already tight.

"I plan things out, check to check, is really what I was living by and then this kind of knocks me back a little bit," said Trice.

As time is running out, emotions are on the rise. Wise says some people even had to be escorted out on Monday.

"The situation and the time of the year makes it even worse," said Wise.

"I've seen a lot of people go off mad and angry and I can understand," said Smith. "I can feel their rage, probably if I didn't have the patience I got, I would probably be going through it, too."

Wise says there's no telling what Congress will decide to do.

"What we are hearing is everything from just adding a few weeks to their benefits to a whole another tier possibly up to 13 weeks," said Wise.

Wise says what the Office of Employment and Training can offer are the tools to help find a job, by teaching people how to search for employment and create resumes. 

As for Congress, they are expected to tackle this issue as early as Tuesday.

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