Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

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.

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

Mortgage & Savings

Terms & Conditions apply

NMLS #1136