Unemployment Benefits Cut, Clovis Mother Struggles to Land Job
Around 1.3 million people now scrambling to figure out how they will make ends meet, after their long-term unemployment benefits were cut.
Among them: Heather Fox of Clovis.
The single mother has been without a job for the last 13 months.
"It's really rough out there," she says about the job market.
"Every morning I get up and get the kids off to school and it's on my laptop. I send a resume here, checking these insurance companies, what openings do they have... or checking with unemployment agencies.. or temp agencies...what kind of work do they have today? Craigslist, anything possible."
Fox spent ten years working in the Medical Billing industry.
But he's struggled to find a jobthere are clearly more people, than jobs available.
"Having that one-year gap may make some think, 'She hasn't worked for a year. What's going on?'" she says.
Unemployment has helped Fox provide for her two children.
She maxed out her state benefits of 26 weeks.
But a federal extension that was put in place since 2008 allowed her benefits to go beyond that time period.
Congress had renewed the extension 11 times, but failed to reach a deal this year.
So, extended benefits ended Saturday.
When Fox got the letter informing her that her benefits were about to end, she was devastated.
"I about died," she says. "My kids want to go off and do all these things with their friends and it's like, I got PG&E to pay first, or I gotta pay the rent. That comes first."
Lawmakers have proposed a short-term extension.
But they won't formally discuss this, let alone take action, until they return to work next year.
"My bills won't wait. January first is next week," says Fox.
Until then, she will continue looking for opportunities.
"It's scary. And I just pray all the time that something's gonna come in and it will all work out to be okay," she says. "Just please give somebody a chance."