TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Federal unemployment benefits could end in December for the long-term unemployed if congress doesn't vote to reinstate them, but there are already some changes for people in Ohio looking to keep them.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says unemployment is a problem that has affected millions across the country. The tweaks to the requirements are the government's ways of helping those people get back to work.
"As far as work, I'm looking for anything for real, for real. Something that will just work around my schedule and put money in my pocket," says DaSean Parker, who is applying for unemployment benefits after losing his job 2 months ago.
Congress realized what a toll the record unemployment rates were having on people just like Parker across the country.
Back in the spring the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services signed an extension that made 50 weeks of federal funds available for people once the 26 available from the state ran out. However, if congress doesn't reinstate them, people in Ohio will only be eligible for what the state offers.
As a part of that, each state must require applicants to attend re-employment counseling, and provide proof of application to two employers each week to continue to get those benefits.
Parker, who is also a full time student, says the thought behind the requirements is a good one, but they may not be a help to everyone:
"That shows that people are actually trying to find a job and get work. As far as the classes, I don't feel like that's necessary, because some people don't have the time for that. Some people do other things with their daily life. And trying to find a job is already hard enough, putting a class on everybody is making it worse."