The 99 Club

By Christmas, nearly 1 million Americans will see their unemployed benefits run out. If you are not a member of the 99 club, you are probably thinking that what's the big deal about getting a job.

Many employers have drastically cut their wages. Living on unemployment benefits is an adjustment but at least you had some money coming in. Many get backed up on their bills and taking a job that pays less is not going to help people get out of debt. Many will still lose their homes because their income is not enough to pay their mortgage.

The 99 club, for those who do not know is the people who have been on extended unemployment benefits for the maximum amount of time which is 99 weeks. Many of us never imagined that we would remain out of work for this long but guess what, 99 weeks have gone by without finding work.

I cannot speak for everyone but believe me, it isn't easy. The last few months I have had interviews (finally) but honestly, employers have plenty of candidates to choose from. It is very tough to remain upbeat and positive about finding work when you are faced with rejection.

I braved horrendous weather conditions yesterday to attend an interview that I actually felt very good about. The prospective employer was not promising to hire me, only to give me a trial day in order to prove my worth.

Part of me was very angry about this. I would have one day to show this woman what kind of employee I would make? Not knowing how they did things and being rusty on this kind of work and knowing that this was my test is a lot of pressure. Not that I am going to get a shot at this...she had several interviews scheduled after mine.

When you are experiencing long-term unemployment the temptation is to apply for anything and everything. That is a recipe for disaster. I have interviewed for positions that I know I cannot do because of physical limitations. But when it comes down to it, I need to provide an income in order to not become homeless.

Yes, I said HOMELESS. Think it is an impossibility? It isn't. Most homes have 2 incomes coming in. Lose 1 income and even if you cut back on expenses there are some expenses that you cannot cut back on. I don't think that my landlord will negotiate my rent and I know the electric company is not going to allow me to have my power for free.

Since my last place of employed abruptly closed its doors and made me unemployed I have learned how to live on less money. Living on no money is not is sinking.

If you are also a member of club 99, here are some options on what to do if your benefits run out.

If you are employed, don't think that this is not going to affect your life. What do you think will happen to the economy with more people losing their homes? More people seeking out public assistance? Crime rates will rise because immoral, desperate people will do things in order to survive. This will affect everyone.

Small business owners will experience it first. Those who work for small businesses might see their hours or even their pay get cut in order for the business owner to stay open.

I would like to try and remain hopeful for the future but until the government recognizes that there has been a huge loss in available jobs and that the little guy needs help not the rich, things will not change for the better.


  1. Following from List My 5. I agree with the points you make here and wish you the best in finding employment that fits your needs.

  2. I'm sorry you are facing these challenges. From your blog, and your work on Helium - it appears you are an industrious, creative person with a lot to offer. I know it is easy to get discouraged, but keep the faith. Remind yourself each day of those positive qualities that you have to offer, and that there is a good job that can be found. In the meantime, you are doing your best at being a parent and using your talents for the betterment of your family. (writing, photography, etc.) Last year was a difficult year for a lot of folks, unfortunately, but hooray for 2011. Onward we march!