Unemployment Benefits
9:58 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Connecticut Woman Tells White House Conference Her Story of Unemployment

Katherine Hackett addresses a press conference in the White House East Room
Katherine Hackett addresses a press conference in the White House East Room

A Connecticut woman was chosen this week by President Obama to speak out about her experience of losing long-term unemployment benefits.

"I have lost weight because food is expensive. As a single mother, I worked many different jobs."
Katherine Hackett

Katherine Hackett of Moodus wrote to the president as her benefits expired in late December, along with those of 1.3 million Americans. Obama invited her to speak to the press at a news conference at the White House.

Hackett explained that even before her benefits were cut, life was very difficult. "My cuts include heating my house to 58 degrees," she said, "wearing a hat and a coat to stay warm, because oil is expensive. I have lost weight because food is expensive. As a single mother, I worked many different jobs, and never asked for a handout while I raised two wonderful boys."

Hackett explained that both her sons are serving in the U.S. military. One did a year-long tour of duty in Afghanistan. She told the conference, "I hope our leaders in Washington can find solutions to help families like mine."

A bill to restore the benefits passed a procedural vote in the Senate, but its future in the House of Representatives is less certain.