WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Emergency Unemployment Benefits Expire For Thousands

Reported: Dec. 30, 2013 10:33 PM EST
Updated: Dec. 31, 2013 9:57 AM EST
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kera Mashek) -- As the holiday season winds down, many of you find yourselves with a mountain of bills to pay off from all those presents.

But for thousands of West Virginians, the struggle to pay even the most basic expenses like rent and electricity is now more difficult, as some unemployment benefits have just expired.

As of Saturday, some 7,000 people lost their emergency unemployment benefits, a federal extension that was offered to people who saw regular unemployment checks run out. For families affected, getting back on their feet hasn't been easy. But even on the heels of the holiday season, local charities say they're ready to help an increased demand.

"I never thought I would have a college degree and be facing homelessness and not be able to get a job," said Andrea Pelaez of Charleston.

But that's exactly the situation Andrea Pelaez finds herself in. Making matters worse, she and roughly 7,000 other West Virginians will get their last checks under an extension of federal emergency unemployment benefits Tuesday.

"I never thought I would be one of those people and actually I did criticize and look down on those people and be very judgmental thinking it was something they were doing or not doing and now I realize it can happen to anybody," said Pelaez.

But Pelaez is thankful for community resources available to help. Workforce West Virginia encourages those impacted by the new loss of emergency benefits or anyone looking for work, to use its job search tools, training and educational resources to get back on their feet.

"They can offer some remedial skills such as GED training and they need to work through the job service side to get the best possible services available," said Lisa Hanson with Workforce West Virginia.

Local food pantries and soup kitchens like Manna Meal in Charleston say this year has already seen record demand. But thankfully, the holiday season brought out generous donations and the shelves here are overflowing, allowing the organization to meet a need for food that will likely keep growing with loss of unemployment benefits and potential food stamp cuts.

"It looks like right now I might be able to make it to March, so that's great. I'm not too worried about what's going to come my way because I truly believe that we'll be taken care of," said Jean Simpson, Manna Meal executive director.

That's at least a little good news for folks like Andrea Pelaez needing help.

Since the recession started in 2008, about 98,000 West Virginians have taken advantage of emergency unemployment benefits. Those benefits have been extended by Congress 11 times already and another extension is already being talked about. But Congress doesn't reconvene until January 6th, leaving thousands of people without any assistance for the time being..



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Teenage Girl Killed In Boone County Crash
News
Apr. 23, 2014 9:11 PM EDT
JULIAN, W.Va. (Heath Harrison) -- A 16-year-old girl ...
Full News Story

Plaintiff In EPA Lawsuit Endorses Lane For Congress
News
Apr. 23, 2014 9:28 PM EDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Heath Harrison) -- Republican Charlotte ...
Full News Story

Judge Bars Plants And Office From Handling Certain Domestic Violence Cases
News
Apr. 23, 2014 6:51 PM EDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kennie Bass) - Kanawha County Circuit ...
Full News Story and Video


News WV Democrats Call on Jenkins To Condemn Ryan Budget
Apr. 23, 2014 8:50 PM EDT
News Search Called Off In Reported Plane Crash In Kanawha; Plane Lands Safely At Yeager
Apr. 23, 2014 6:31 PM EDT
News Potential Layoff Notices Worry Miners In Boone County
Apr. 23, 2014 6:44 PM EDT
News Police Said Three Arrested In Huntington Drug Bust
Apr. 23, 2014 8:35 PM EDT
News Kanawha Judge Bars Kanawha Prosecutor, His Office From Prosecuting Certain Cases
Apr. 23, 2014 3:07 PM EDT
News Winfield Getting Multi-Million Dollar Sewer Plant
Apr. 23, 2014 7:02 PM EDT
News 85th Habitat Home Dedicated In Cabell County
Apr. 23, 2014 6:34 PM EDT
News Girls Make Donation To Children's Home Society
Apr. 23, 2014 6:32 PM EDT
News McDowell Families Displaced After Homes Deemed Unsafe
Apr. 23, 2014 6:34 PM EDT
News Crews Say Progress Made Fighting New River Gorge Fire
Apr. 23, 2014 6:33 PM EDT
News Obama Administration Tightening Coal Dust Limits To Curb Black Lung
Apr. 23, 2014 5:05 PM EDT
News Motorcycle Rider Taken To Hospital Following Crash
Apr. 23, 2014 3:33 PM EDT
News McDowell Education Program Gets $300,000 AT&T Grant
Apr. 23, 2014 6:34 PM EDT
News Capito Asks CDC About Inhaling MCHM
Apr. 23, 2014 3:36 PM EDT
News Marshall University Approves Budget, Tuition Increase
Apr. 23, 2014 3:37 PM EDT
News WV Group Wants Family Resource Funding Restored
Apr. 23, 2014 3:13 PM EDT
News Health Officials Say They Can't Definitively Tie Health Effects To Spill
Apr. 23, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News Officials Promote Saturday's Drug Take-Back Day
Apr. 23, 2014 1:13 PM EDT
News Police Say Bystander Wounded In Shooting On Charleston's West Side
Apr. 23, 2014 1:16 PM EDT
News Kanawha Magistrate Ward Harshbarger Faces Ethics Charges
Apr. 23, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News Road In Lawrence County, Ohio, To Face Intermittent Closures For Debris Removal
Apr. 23, 2014 11:19 AM EDT
News Man Charged With Stealing Credit Card From Elderly Victim
Apr. 23, 2014 11:23 AM EDT
News Suspect Accused Of Forging Prescriptions In Scioto County
Apr. 23, 2014 11:28 AM EDT
News Two Pedestrians Struck By Vehicle In Floyd County
Apr. 23, 2014 11:11 AM EDT
News Boil Water Advisory In Effect In Clay County
Apr. 23, 2014 10:00 AM EDT
News Flags Flown At Half-Staff In Honor Of Mick Staton
Apr. 23, 2014 9:19 AM EDT
News Elephants To Chow Down At Annual Feast Thursday In Charleston
Apr. 23, 2014 9:22 AM EDT
News Bible Verse Removed From School's Gymnasium, Team's Website
Apr. 23, 2014 8:42 AM EDT
News Officials Discuss Path Forward From Water Crisis
Apr. 23, 2014 3:09 PM EDT
News Officials Say As Many As 108,000 Experienced Health Issues From Chemical Spill
Apr. 22, 2014 11:04 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Challenge to Harrison Power Plant deal rejected

The state Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to the Public Service Commission's approval of a $1.1 billion deal for the sale of the Harrison Power Station.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Oregon gay marriage ban gets day in court

Lawyers for four gay and lesbian couples and the state of Oregon are urging a federal judge to strike down the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.
Full Story

Ohio News
Correction officer held by inmates at Ohio jail

A correction officer has been taken hostage by inmates at an Ohio county jail.
Full Story

PREVIOUS NEWS: NOV | CURRENT







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.