Unemployed workers to be pushed off their own 'fiscal cliff'

Dec 3, 2012

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Up to 60,000 people in Washington will lose their unemployment benefits at the end of the month. That’s because a federal  program, called Emergency Unemployment Compensation, is set to expire.

The federal government has often been on the verge of cutting off extended unemployment benefits only to renew them at the last minute.  Since the recession hit, the U.S. Congress has voted 10 times to continue the extended benefits program.

But Sherlyl Hutchison, spokeswoman for the Washington’s Employment Security Department, says there’s no indication that will happen this time.

“We’re not seeing the kind of conversation that we’ve seen during the past 10 extensions that make us feel like it’s a high priority for all of Congress. So right now, just due diligence makes us feel like we have to let these individuals know this program is slated to end and please plan for it," she said.

The state is using email, robocalls and direct mail to get the word out to people who will be affected.