NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - "I haven't prayed in years, and I'm hoping something changes. For all of us.
Anthony Fuqua says says he was getting unemployment benefits, but the money suddenly stopped in August.
"And they stated on the website that I had to re-submit my claim, and I haven't been paid in 12 weeks," Cookeville resident Anthony Fuqua said.
When asked how close he is to being broke, "Oh, I've got three credit cards that have been maxed out for four months," Fuqua said.
Fuqua isn't alone. Thousands of Tennesseans have used unemployment benefits and the first stimulus package to get by, but that assistance will soon run out.
Congress hasn't issued a second COVID Relief Package, and federal unemployment benefits stop at the end of December.
News4 spoke with Congressman Jim Cooper. He fears what Christmas will look like for million of Americans.
"It could be a total nightmare. We could have mass evictions. We could have huge hospital bills. We could have people unable to feed their families," Rep. Cooper said.
Congressman Cooper is hoping the U.S. House and Senate reaches a Coronavirus Relief Package deal that will extend Unemployment benefits to Americans in the next few days. So far, that has not happened.
"Christmas is coming up. We could have the saddest Christmas in a long, long time. Unless we get this relief package passed.”
Getting back to Fuqua's situation, News 4 asked State Department of Labor and Workforce Development spokesperson Chris Cannon about his claim.
“His claim was working perfectly fine until he went in and told the system that he went back to work. When you tell the system you go back to work, it stops your claim, and that’s exactly what it did and that’s exactly what’s supposed to do," Cannon said.
Cannon also said that his new claim is now being processed. Fuqua just wants it fixed, so he could find some relief.
“I have my part of the bills. I have to bring food to the table. I have to bring my part of the bills to keep electricity on. And I--I Just don’t know what do," Fuqua said.
The state asks that you please look over everything before submitting your claim. One wrong submission, no matter how light, could delay your process.