Sequestration cuts to reduce extended unemployment benefit checks by nearly 18% starting April 28

Sequestration cuts will reduce checks nearly 18%

More than 400,000 Californians receiving unemployment checks are going to feel another blow by the government's sequestration spending cuts by the end of this month.

The California Employment Development Department says starting April 28, people receiving extended unemployment benefits will lose nearly 18 percent of their weekly unemployment benefits.

The cuts do not affect people getting their initial 26 weeks of unemployment benefits.

It only applies to those who have been receiving unemployment checks for more than six months.

For people receiving extended unemployment benefits, losing nearly 18 percent of their check can be rough.

"I think 18 percent is a big deal. Theres so many people depending on that and there's people who have no other form of income but that," said Kevin Pickens who is unemployed.

The state estimates the average long term unemployed Californian will lose $52 a week, with a maximum of $79 a week.

"It would mean groceries, apartment, all kind of bills that are not getting paid," said Pickens.

The unemployed are not the only ones to be affected by sequestration.

The Employment Development Department is losing $3.3 million in funding that helps job seekers at local one stop career centers like the Career Services Center.

Their marketing director Danette Scarry said she does not anticipate reducing services or staff as a result of the cuts.

"Everybody is getting hit some. It's not as much as we could have been hit. We don't have final numbers yet but we anticipate we'll be ok," said Scarry.

But Pickens said these cuts won't be ok for many others.

"I think it's a bad deal for a lot of people," said Pickens.

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