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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.

"Trying everything"

gallery unemployment benefits paola gonzalez
  • Name: Paola Gonzalez
  • Hometown: Albany, N.Y.

Unemployment benefits kept me alive for the last three years. My benefits were $405 a week, minus taxes. They expired in August.

To supplement that, I started selling my old engineering textbooks online. I have been able to get $447. It's not much, but it's some money for basic needs.

In 2006, I started teaching actors to fight. That's what's been saving me. I've been able to get some jobs as a fight coordinator.

I can't afford renting any more. I am lucky a friend of mine is helping me, letting me stay in his apartment for free if I take care of the electricity.

I am taking a class with Liberty Tax. I hope I can work for four months doing taxes.

I'm trying everything I can.

- Last updated December 12 2012 10:10 AM ET

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