Follow us:

Opinion Northwest

Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

February 21, 2014 at 6:03 AM

Tell us how unemployment benefits affect you

The Seattle Times’ Monday editorial calling on Congress to extend unemployment benefits has received some heavy online traffic. Obviously, this issue hits a nerve for many of you out there who are searching for work or know someone who is. Here is an excerpt from the editorial:

In Washington state, at least 28,000 job-seekers so far have lost a critical financial lifeline. Many have put this money immediately into their local economies. It’s how they have afforded basic necessities such as rent, gas, groceries and utilities…

Without an extension, thousands more throughout Washington will continue to lose emergency federal assistance each week after their regular state benefits run out at 26 weeks.

Workers looking for jobs beyond that period now make up nearly 30 percent of the state’s unemployed population. There is an average of three applicants for every job opening.

There’s good reason for lawmakers to return from recess and re-start this debate. According to a January Quinnipiac University poll, 58 percent of respondents support continuing this financial lifeline for those who’ve exhausted their state benefits.

Share your thoughts with us in the form below.

On Wednesday, Politico reported on new efforts by some Senate Republicans to get more members of their caucus on board with extending jobless benefits. One of the ideas being floated would prevent recipients from double-dipping into disability and unemployment funds. Another is to cut off aid after applicants get a job offer. Democrats should listen and negotiate a compromise.

Here in Washington, I’d like to know why you care about this issue. Some readers have already weighed in. (Check out this letter to the editor.) Are you unemployed and struggling to find work after 26 weeks? How does this federal aid help your household or your local community? How long do you think benefits should be available? How should Congress pay for it?

Share your thoughts in the form below. Please leave your first and last name, city of residence, email and phone number. Contact information will not be publicly posted and is for verification purposes only.

[do action=”custom_iframe” url=”https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1U4MeoFykjhRZHO8q3r1tPxC4IHy6m1ZkUBeCCuJ5-Sg/viewform” width=”630″ height=”800″ scrolling=””/]

 

 

Comments | Topics: congress, federal government, unemployment insurance

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►