Agency: Jobless benefits still available for unemployed workers - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Agency: Jobless benefits still available for unemployed workers


SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -- Workers on unemployment across the country will soon stop getting their benefits. It's because Congress didn't renew the benefits before its July 4th recess.

In Sioux City, the May unemployment rate was at 6.7%. That's a lot who want to work, but cant find a job.

But there's help out there.

The meat packing plant at John Morrell has been closed for three months now.

Hundreds lost their jobs and now are searching for work, as bills continue to pile up.

"You have established certain expenses based on a income level that you have had now you are getting less it does put that strain on that and it does make it harder," says Craig Franzen.

Now that unemployment benefits are about to run out for many, they'll have to look elsewhere.

In Sioux City help can come from a number of places, one the Community Action Agency of Siouxland. A program created to help you, me or anybody when the budget belt is sintched tight.

"There are situations that people need assistance with and our agency is lucky enough to get grants and funding that allow us to help those in need," says Franzen.

The agency provides about 15 assistance programs, helping to pay for rent, energy, heat or just a new pair of work boots. But in order to get those funds you have to qualify.

"Maybe they are behind on some other bills it allows them to get caught up and maybe be able to get back on track," says Franzen.

To do that the group says all they first need a social security number and birth dates of your entire household. Next they'll analyze the amount of income you collected in the last three months. And finally of course, they need to know what the money is for, example: utility bills.

Officials say one of their biggest hurdles is just getting people to know they're eligible for a program.

"Call our agency, were going to go over with them the information, they are going to say 'Here is what I am looking for help with' we are going to let them know the information they are going to need to bring," says Franzen.

But the other big hurdle, convincing them to take the help.

"We have had people come in 'I didn't want to come in because I didn't want to take it from somebody else' and again the guidelines are established and as long as you meet those requirements you should utilize any program that may be available," says Franzen.

Online Reporter: Forrest Saunders

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