Thousands Of Oklahomans Set To Lose Unemployment Benefits - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

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Thousands Of Oklahomans Set To Lose Unemployment Benefits

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Currently just over 4,500 Oklahoman's are on the EUC benefits. Currently just over 4,500 Oklahoman's are on the EUC benefits.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

The national unemployment rate is at its lowest since Dec. 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With that, the federal government has not extended the emergency plan, which affects thousands of individuals right here in Oklahoma.

"The emergency time has ended and this is really decision time for America," said Congressman James Lankford.

Chris Cook has been attempting to make his decision for six months.

"It can disheartening cause you send out resume after resume and you don't get calls back," said Cook.

Cook has been unemployed since July and has depended on a state averaged $250 unemployment check each week.

"It's not enough to live on, but it helps," said Cook.

Until yesterday, Cook received an unemployment check for the full 26 weeks and he is still unemployed. Any hopes of a 14-week extension do not exist as of Saturday.

"Our unemployment system was meant to be a safety net, not a hammock," said Lankford.

Currently just over 4,500 Oklahoman's are on the EUC benefits and no matter where they are in that plan, John Carpenter and the state of Oklahoma will be out of federal money.

"All of the funding for the program is going to be cut, so there will no longer be any money to pass on," said Carpenter.

The money will still be available for regular unemployment benefits. It is a plan that lasts six months and is a plan Lankford supports.

"The best thing for every single family is to be employed [and] not just receive an unemployment check," said Lankford.

Compared to states like Missouri and Texas, Oklahoma will have fewer individuals affected by Saturday's cut off.

"We're excelling because we are creating a business-friendly environment we're people can get jobs," said Lankford.

Which Cook only sees on paper.

"Really walk a mile in someone else's shoes before they decide to end a program that really helps other people out," said Cook.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission encourages those individuals who will be cut off on Saturday to contact a Work Force Oklahoma office for possible employment opportunities.

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