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45k Mass. Residents May Lose Unemployment Benefits

unemploymentHOLYOKE, Mass. — (WGGB) As politicians continue to wrangle over the budget, millions of Americans are facing a very real and very personal fiscal cliff. In two days, their federal unemployment benefits run out.

Here in Massachusetts, 45,000 people rely on those benefits to pay the bills while they look for work. At CareerPoint in Holyoke, they’ve seen an increase in job seekers who are scrambling to find a job before their unemployment checks end.

“It’s an overwhelming frustration,” said CareerPoint Executive Director, David Gadaire. “Who’s going to help me? And the answer is we can really help you help yourself and we’re willing to do that and we’ll do that as long as we can”

You don’t have to tell that to Timothy Boudreau of Chicopee, whose fulltime job is looking for a fulltime job. He’s been unemployed for about a year, gone through his state benefits and is now four months into his federal extension.

“I just went through my first set of unemployment and then you were supposed to get one extension but now I don’t even think I’ll get that cause they are cancelling it. So, it just makes it tough were you gotta be out there every day looking for a job.”

Massachusetts unemployment benefits run for 26 weeks. After that federal benefits kick in for an additional 28 weeks. Unless congress acts quickly, those federal benefits will end on December 29th.

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