Faces of the unemployed: Always have a backup plan

Like probably most every out-of-work person, Barbara Egbert has a backup plan for when her unemployment benefits expire and she's out of money: Starbucks, McDonald's, temporary office work or some such "emergency job."

While working an average of 20 hours a week since being laid off twice in the past 17 months as a writer and editor, Egbert, of Sunol, Calif., says she has until the end of the year to either find a full-time job or to double her freelance work.

Without the work, she expects she might have to lower her job expectations and work as a fast-food clerk part-time, or maybe do front-office work at a hospital.

The main thing pushing the issue is that her federal subsidy for health benefits runs out at the end of 2009, when her COBRA premiums will increase substantially.

Those are some of the issues we discussed in a video interview: