06/30/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

'99ers' Struggle With Future After 99 Weeks Of Unemployment

A series of extensions passed by Congress in 2008 and 2009 prolonged the benefits for an unprecedented period: 99 weeks in states with high unemployment, such as California. There have never been benefits available for so long, said Loree Levy, spokeswoman for the state Employment Development Department.

The last extension was approved in November 2009, giving the unemployed an extra 20 weeks of checks. But people eligible for those additional weeks are losing their benefits now, and a further extension is considered unlikely given the massive federal budget deficit.

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