I was laid off in April from my truck-driving job and filed an unemployment interstate claim because I lived and worked in another state more than a year and a half ago. I had no problem receiving my unemployment from this other state. Since the denial of my unemployment benefits in Alabama, I have hit rock bottom financially. My credit is ruined, I'm about to lose my car, I can't even buy food and have several bill collectors calling me daily.
With the worst economic downfall since the Great Depression, the rising unemployment rate and the lack of available jobs, people like me need unemployment benefits more than ever. Because so many are denied their benefits, the homeless rate increases. I feel it is unethical that I can't receive my unemployment when I have worked in Alabama.
Those who make the decisions on who receives and does not receive their unemployment is proof the system is flawed. I lost my job due to the failing economy. This is what's wrong with the system in Alabama. I have no money or medical insurance to see a doctor to get any treatment for my medical problem. With President Obama extending benefits, that proves that there are too few jobs available and people need their unemployment benefits.
Alabama's unemployment rate is 10.7 percent and the country's is 10.2 percent. This evidence proves how valuable unemployment is for those who have lost their jobs. With the unemployment rate and the lack of jobs, people should not be denied unemployment if they have worked in their state. It is not right that I am losing everything because of one person who sits behind a desk and says I do not deserve my unemployment.
I have had interviews for jobs, but with the amount of job seekers it is extremely difficult to land any job. I have an associate degree in business administration, plus a Class A commercial driver's license, and I still can't find work. That is proof of how bad the job situation is and why so many need their unemployment benefits.
Owen Smith lives in Weaver.