Unemployment checks keeping some Detroiters afloat

Benefits to expire

DETROIT - Over the past few years, the U.S. economy has steadily gotten back on its feet, but the harsh reality is that it's very hard for many people to find a job. For 1.3 million Americans, including many in Metro Detroit, unemployment checks keep them afloat and provide a key lifeline.

Tomorrow, when benefits expire, that lifeline is gone.

Chikita Farris, a Detroit woman losing federal benefits, isn't sure how she will make ends meet and support herself and her daughter.

"I have six weeks left," Farris said. "From that point on I have no idea what's going to happen next."

Farris lost her job at the elections office, and now she's losing what little help she got.

"There's nothing I can do, but I have to sacrifice," Farris said. She says there are no jobs in Downtown Detroit.

For the first time since 2008, federal unemployment benefits will not be extended.

Unemployment Insurance Agency director Shaun Thomas says there aren't many options for people that will no longer get assistance.

"Not unless you have additional employment and you can file another claim," Thomas said. "But if you were on the extension and didn't have employment, then that would be the end of your benefits."

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