Thousands in Kern County could lose unemployment benefits if Congress doesn't act

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -  

Jobless people in Kern County may soon be running out of unemployment benefits.

"It’s not like we are just living off of it it’s just a necessity sometimes," said Jared Wyatt who gets unemployment benefits.           

Wyatt is the father of two.

His job is seasonal and every year at this time he relies on unemployment to help his family survive.

“They don’t pay you as much as you actually get paid for working. It’s definitely better to be at work," Wyatt said.

He is one of hundreds of thousands of Californians who could lose their unemployment because of what’s happening in the US Senate.

Lawmakers failed to act on two measures Tuesday.

Wyatt isn't sure what he'll do if he loses his unemployment.

"Diapers and wipes would be hard to come by, it just gives you the bare minimum," he said.

Long term benefits are already gone for people out of work for longer than 26 weeks.

Every week that passes without action from Congress means more families losing their benefits.

"This is a system where you pay into it they are just not giving money away every dollar that they give you you've paid into it," said Shane Gordon, another recipient of unemployment benefits.

Gordon supports a wife and a daughter.

“It would be terrible for us I got to feed them somehow," Gordon said.

He is a specialty electrical worker whose employment ends when the project he's working on does.

He says the idea that people on unemployment are freeloaders is wrong.

"I understand that things have to be cut from everywhere but most of these people that are on unemployment actually need it," Gordon said.

Congress will be on a one week break next week so it could be a while before they vote on restoring long term unemployment benefits.

 

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