Unemployed face federal benefit cuts in sequester [video chat]

Job seekers at Rosemead center look for leads.
(Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO -- Much-dreaded automatic federal budget cuts are about to be felt by more than 400,000 long-term unemployed in California.

The California Employment Development Department, which administers both state and federal unemployment insurance programs, will be cutting the federal portion by approximately 17.7% beginning April 28.

LIVE VIDEO CHAT: Join us at 2 p.m.


That represents a tiny share of the $85-billion reduction in federal government spending that kicked in March 1 when Republican leaders in the House of Representatives and President Obama failed to reach an agreement on possible spending cuts and revenue hikes.

Job seekers who have been out of work for more than six months and receive federal benefits will see their average weekly assistance of $297 reduced by $52.

The cut does not affect the more recently jobless receiving up to 26 weeks of state-paid benefits.

Bring your questions for a live a video chat featuring Loree Levy, deputy director of public affairs for the state Employment Development Department, and Sacramento-based business reporter Marc Lifsher. The chat will be hosted by consumer columnist David Lazarus.


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