POSTED: Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 4:46pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:22pm
The economic crisis continues to take its toll on the workforce as new unemployment claims reach a 26-year high. The U.S. Labor Department says initial applications for unemployment benefits rose to 573,000 last week, that is 58,000 more than the week before.
With so many people receiving unemployment benefits, our team found out there is a cap on how much money unemployed workers can receive and a deadline for how long they can receive unemployment checks. The Texas Workforce Commission say each person's claim and amount is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Manuel Delgado used to work for the Hoover plant just outside El Paso. Delgado was laid off a few months ago and now collects unemployment. The amount he collects is nowhere near his usual pay.
"I was making 24 dollars an hour working for the Hoover company and now I am only clearing 335 dollars a week," Delgado said.
The Texas Workforce Commission says 392 dollars a week is the highest amount a person can earn and they can only receive that money for up to 26 weeks. With the tough economy and many companies cutting back on employees, for many people looking for a job, 26 weeks may not be enough time to secure a job.
Jennie Martin became a casualty of the tough economy as well. She's been out of work about a month and this is the first time she's ever applied for unemployment benefits. She says the unemployment amount is not enough to get by.
"It's not even close to what I was making," Martin said. "Working 22 years in the same career I was making decent money."
According to the unemployment rules, if Jennie gets offered a job within reason she has no choice but to accept it or lose her benefits altogether.