DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – 1.3 Million Americans lost their unemployment benefits when the Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program expired on Saturday.
Around 16,000 Coloradans will no longer receive their extended federal aid.
With the program now ended, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is doing what it can to help those who are scrambling to make ends meet.
Stephanie Foltz was pregnant with her daughter Sophie when she found out she was being laid off by the copy and printer company she worked at for 13 years.
“I thought, ‘what I am going to do now,’” said Foltz.
Finding a similar job with comparable pay hasn’t been easy.
She found herself eligible for federal emergency compensation when her state funded unemployment benefits ran out after 26 weeks.
If I could stay on the emergency compensation it would make it easier for me to go back to school to better my education and get a little more training,” said Foltz.
Born out of the recession, the federal government’s program officially ran out on Dec. 28.
Due to budget concerns, any extension would have work its way through congress, meaning a decision could be weeks or months away.
“Right now, what we’re looking at is, we’re in a little bit of a waiting period,” said Cher Haavind from The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
She says they’ve seen several extensions come before and is urging Coloradans to continue filing for extended benefits just in case.
“That keeps their claim active so if there is a decision by congress in January, they have an active claim and we can go in and continue processing payment and will avoid any delays,” said Haavind.
Foltz says her plans to get through school and find more marketable skills are on hold for now.
“It’s hard, it’s hard to think about having to take away from my daughter,” said Foltz.
The state labor department has sent letters to Coloradans affected by this and has information on it’s website.