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
Battling Meth At The Point Of Sale
News
Jul. 22, 2014 11:32 PM EDT
Deputies spent hours investigating an abandoned meth ...
Full News Story and Video

Huntington Man Arrested for Allegedly Soliciting a Minor Online
News
Jul. 22, 2014 10:44 PM EDT
Police arrested a man Tuesday afternoon, for allegedly ...
Full News Story

Mason Co. Case Serves As Important Reminder On Child Nutrition Needs
News
Jul. 22, 2014 10:30 PM EDT
The investigation continues into a disturbing case ...
Full News Story and Video


News Community Responds To Child Neglect Case
Jul. 22, 2014 9:35 PM EDT
News Bus Company Decision Nails The Coffin Shut On Saturday Event
Jul. 22, 2014 7:36 PM EDT
News Freedom Bankruptcy Deal On Hold
Jul. 22, 2014 6:10 PM EDT
News Milton Seeing Economic Boom
Jul. 22, 2014 5:49 PM EDT
News Dirty Girl Mud Run For Charleston Officially Canceled
Jul. 22, 2014 5:42 PM EDT
News Fayette County Man Killed After Pinned Under Truck
Jul. 22, 2014 4:54 PM EDT
News The Greenbrier Releases Details For Fans Interested In Attending New Orleans Saints' Practices, Picnic
Jul. 22, 2014 8:12 PM EDT
News Medicare Workshop Offers Information, Expert Consultation
Jul. 22, 2014 4:22 PM EDT
News MU To Paint The Capital City Green
Jul. 22, 2014 4:07 PM EDT
News Multifest Announces Schedule For 2014
Jul. 22, 2014 8:52 PM EDT
News Pregnant Teen Strangled, Man Decapitated In Online Sex Case
Jul. 22, 2014 3:06 PM EDT
News Milton Police Seek Information On Telephone Cable Theft
Jul. 22, 2014 2:28 PM EDT
News Meningitis Diagnosis Prompted WV Clinic Probe
Jul. 22, 2014 2:10 PM EDT
News Mountaineers To Face Tennessee In Football In 2018
Jul. 22, 2014 1:55 PM EDT
News Surveillance Photos Released In South Charleston Robbery
Jul. 22, 2014 12:53 PM EDT
News WVU Baseball Player Signs With Pro Team
Jul. 22, 2014 12:37 PM EDT
News One Man Injured In East End Shooting
Jul. 22, 2014 6:16 PM EDT
News Well-Being Of WV Children Improves; State Ranks 37th
Jul. 22, 2014 11:32 AM EDT
News Independent Ed Rabel To Seek Congressional Seat
Jul. 22, 2014 11:17 AM EDT
News Wayne County Schools Names Superintendent
Jul. 22, 2014 1:22 PM EDT
News Annual River Float Expected To Make Big Splash Saturday
Jul. 22, 2014 11:00 AM EDT
News Trailer Owner Finds Abandoned Meth Lab Near Backyard
Jul. 22, 2014 10:25 AM EDT
News WV Inmate Who Escaped In May Captured In VA
Jul. 22, 2014 9:16 AM EDT
News Former Mercer County Teacher Pleads Guilty To Sex Charges
Jul. 22, 2014 9:22 AM EDT
News Freedom Industries In Bankruptcy Court Tuesday
Jul. 22, 2014 7:54 AM EDT
News Baby Dies From Malnutrition After Police Say Parents Used WIC Money To Buy Drugs
Jul. 21, 2014 11:53 PM EDT
News Women Express Outrage Over Dirty Girl Mud Run Flap
Jul. 22, 2014 7:44 AM EDT
News Shoppers Travel Across Counties To Shop At Newly Expanded Kroger
Jul. 22, 2014 12:56 PM EDT
News Livestock Competition Big Part Of Cabell County Fair
Jul. 22, 2014 11:06 AM EDT
News Local Sporting Goods Store Thriving
Jul. 22, 2014 1:18 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
W.Va. couple face neglect charge in son's death

West Virginia state police say a couple has been charged with child neglect resulting in death stemming from the March 2013 death of their 20-month-old son.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Police arrest escaped inmate, 3 others in Kentucky

An escaped inmate has been arrested and three other people have been charged with assisting him in western Kentucky.
Full Story

Ohio News
Ohio teen will be tried as adult in shooting

A judge has ruled that a 16-year-old central Ohio boy will be tried as an adult in a shooting that left one man dead and another wounded two days before Christmas.
Full Story







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.