Benefit Extension Relieves Unemployed in Charlottesville - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Benefit Extension Relieves Unemployed in Charlottesville

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Ann Clark with President Obama Ann Clark with President Obama

Those struggling from the recent loss of unemployment benefits have been thrown a lifeline. Tuesday, the Senate voted to temporarily extend those benefits.

Virginia Organizing put together a group from Charlottesville to go to the White House and hear President Barack Obama address the nation about an issue that has sparked debate across the country. Among them was Ann Clark, an Albemarle County art teacher who is currently unemployed.

"It's crucial. It's a crucial amount of money to just barely keep you going,” Clark said.

Clark is one of the 1.3 million people whose benefits recently ran out.

"I've been on unemployment for a year so it's pretty shocking to be dropped off of unemployment right at Christmastime,” Clark said.

Now, the three-month extension of benefits is bringing a relief to those who are struggling.

“There's 1.3 million people that would be losing these benefits but if affects 9 million people when you consider the families and dependents of these unemployed citizens. So it's critical,” said Pat Hommel, a member of Virginia Organizing.

Those cuts caused the average person to lose about $300 a week.

Because the relief the extension brings is only temporary, the plan's future is still unclear. At this point it’s not certain the plan will pass in the Senate and the House. Some Republicans say they would support it if they could find a way to do it without adding to the national debt.

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