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Unemployment Benefits To Be Cut Due To Sequester

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) - Those who collect federal unemployment benefits in Connecticut are poised to become the latest victims of the federal budget cuts known as the sequester.

As WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported, weekly benefits are currently $330 on average. But starting in June, the checks will come in at $265.

"That could make the difference between paying your rent and not paying your rent," Conn. Labor Commissioner Sharon Palmer told Schneidau. "We're sending out letters over the next couple of days letting people know that their checks will be cut the end of June."

Unemployment Benefits To Be Cut Due To Sequester

Palmer said more than 30,000 Connecticut residents relying on these checks must endure the nearly 20 percent cuts. She added there's no foreseeable change since only Congress has the power to stop the cuts.

"We had hoped that perhaps they would come back to the table and resolve their differences. But that has not happened, so we can't wait any longer to make the cuts," Palmer told Schneidau.

The cuts to jobless benefits will also hit out-of-work New York and New Jersey residents.

Temporary cuts will also hit federally funded programs in Connecticut where people help the unemployed find work and craft their resumes, Schneidau reported.

The sequester, which took effect at the beginning of March, triggered across-the-board spending cuts of $85 billion.

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