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Unemployment Extension: What A Cutoff Letter Looks Like

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Ken Watson of Batavia, Ohio said he learned via email Wednesday that he'd be cut off from his unemployment benefits this weekend.

"I thought I was good into January," Watson told HuffPost. "I was so shocked today."

Watson, 46, is one of 800,000 people facing an abrupt cutoff from the Extended Benefits program in the next week. Congress has failed to reauthorize two programs -- Extended Benefits and Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which together provide up to 73 weeks of benefits on top of the six months handled by states. An additional 1.2 million people will be dropped from EUC by the end of December.

"Because federal funding for this program is ending on Saturday, December 4, 2010, you will not be able to receive these extended benefits for weeks beyond that date," reads the notice Watson said he received from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, which appears in full below. "Even if there is a balance showing on your account, these amounts cannot be paid because of the ending of federal funding. If Congress enacts legislation reinstating funding for this program, and that funding is retroactive, you will be notified."

Watson, an information-technology contractor, said he started drawing unemployment benefits early in 2009 after work dried up. "I applied for everything," he said. "I would apply for jobs as a patient orderly. I don't care what I do as long as I get some work."

His wife, he said, has been working part-time. Watson said they have five children. "My two younger kids I really have to worry about because they believe in Santa Claus," he added.

Read Watson's notice:

Dear Claimant:

Our records indicate that you were eligible for state-extended unemployment benefits, also known as "Ohio Extended Benefits" or "Ohio EB". These benefits were made available by the 100 percent federal funding of state-extended benefits established under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Because federal funding for this program is ending on Saturday, December 4, 2010, you will not be able to receive these extended benefits for weeks beyond that date. Even if there is a balance showing on your account, these amounts cannot be paid because of the ending of federal funding. If Congress enacts legislation reinstating funding for this program, and that funding is retroactive, you will be notified.

In the meantime, if you have not yet been able to find employment, please know that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services remains committed to assisting you during your time of need. Remember that you can access thousands of job opportunities at. If you have not already done so, please visit your local One Stop Center for help with such things as resume development, career planning and your job search effort. To find the One Stop nearest you, please call 1-877-US2JOBS or visit