I am in the process of writing a series on unemployment including my bout with it starting two years ago. I have already written the factual events that occurred, but I also want to go through some of the factual inconsistencies that are used by politicians, the media and even friends and neighbors regarding this issue. There is a serious problem in this country when it comes to the issue of unemployment.
There is one I want to get out of the way now, Unemployment Insurance is NOT welfare. Welfare is a social program that can be used by anybody who earn less than X dollars. Unemployment is not a social system. When people work, they pay into this system and have a little protection in the event that they are laid off or rendered unemployed through no fault of their own (getting fired or quitting disqualifies the worker from this compensation). In Ohio, one must work for 18 months continuously in order to get this compensation and the standard, state limit is 6 months and the person collecting must apply for two jobs per week. This is the limit regardless of how long one works, 18 months or 35 years, it doesn't matter. During times of high unemployment, such as now, the government may elect to extend this compensation, which they have done four times and are currently working on passing the fifth tier. The 99ers, as they are called, are those people who have exhausted all 99 weeks of their unemployment benefits (26 weeks initial, plus the four tiers of extensions equaling 73 weeks).
I am not a 99er. I was on unemployment for the first three tiers of extensions (about 18 months) and went back to work shortly after that. Look for the first real part coming a little later this week.