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Californians Facing Expiration Of Jobless Benefits Still Have Options

Some state and county assistance may be available to the more than 200,000 long-term unemployed Californians who face the end of the federal unemployment benefit extension.

Aired 12/31/13 on KPBS News.

More than 200 thousand long-term unemployed Californians are seeing their federal unemployment benefit extension run out. But there are still options to help them stay afloat.

Jessica Bartholow is with the Western Center on Law and Poverty. She said people whose unemployment benefits have run out can apply for food stamps at county offices. She said the neediest families can apply for CalWORKs, which is the state's welfare program.

"In the state of California you can access somebody who can help you connect to resources in your community to help pay your utilities, or to help get food," Bartholow commented.

But, Bartholow said, only families with less than $2,000 in assets qualify for CalWORKs. She warns that homelessness could increase among the long-term unemployed who don't qualify for assistance.

The state Employment Development Department and the Department of Social Services' websites have information and referrals to services for the long-term jobless. Information on services is also available by dialing 211.

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