'Long-term unemployment' _ one mom's story

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AURORA, Ill. (AP) — Down the road from an emergency food pantry in suburban Chicago, a church sign reads: "If you need help, ask God. If you don't, thank God."

Debbie Jurcak (JER-sack), one of those in line recently, said it is indeed divine help — or faith-based organizations, anyway — that she and her family have relied on in recent weeks.

Having passed that six-month mark of unemployment in December, the mother of three joined the ranks of the "long-term unemployed" after Congress recently declined to extend benefits.

Jurcak has since landed a customer service job.

But she hopes Congress will find a way to reinstate benefits for others, until the economy is stronger.

Democrats are proposing extending unemployment benefits from six to 11 months. Republicans question how to pay for that.

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