When unemployment runs out

Thousands of the long-term unemployed lost extended benefits this year when Congress modified the unemployment program. Another 2 million are set to lose them in January. How do people survive after checks stop coming? Readers share their stories.

Dog sitting

gallery unemployment benefits dan sargeant
  • Name: Dan Sargeant
  • Hometown: Branford, Conn.

I had extended benefits until two months ago. I work part-time at night doing polling for Quinnipiac and I do dog sitting whenever I can get clients. I love dogs.

My wife works. She's got a pretty good job so that's our benefits.

I took some money out of an annuity. That's how we are surviving, by taking something from retirement. We don't eat out. We've totally cut back on doing anything.

Unemployment benefits are vital. It was better than many of the jobs you can find.

With unemployment benefits, we were basically fine. Without it, we would have been in real trouble.

  @Luhby - Last updated December 12 2012 10:10 AM ET

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