Sequester soon to shrink unemployment checks

People who have been out of work for more than six months are about to see their unemployment benefits slashed by sequestration cuts.

The Connecticut Department of Labor says it is sending out letters this week to 30,000 thousand people in the state who will take a cut of almost 20 percent in their benefit checks.

Lisa Mann was laid off from her job at Mohegan Sun last September. She says the cut means she’ll have $400 less each month.

“It will have a very serious impact on me and my family. I have a daughter in college. I have a big mortgage. I have all the bills that came along with the income that I had — but now I have no income.”

Gov. Dannel Malloy held a press conference Wednesday to highlight the issue, calling the cutback the result of a “Tea Party-stranglehold” on decision-making in Washington.

And he says the cut to benefits is a wider issue for the state’s economy.

“When you have $1.8 or $1.9 million dollars less going into your economy every week, it has a trickle-down effect, whether it’s at Shaw’s Market, or Stop & Shop, or at the gas pump or elsewhere — it has an impact.”

The Department of Labor says it also has to cut funds from other programs for job seekers, such as tuition for short-term skills courses or placements at community college.