‘We’re too late now’: unemployment lifeline will expire even with relief deal


However, since the beginning of the pandemic, nonprofits have shed nearly 1 million of their own workers – not only has that created a greater need for services, it has also raised costs because of the need. of purchasing protective gear and taking other measures to keep volunteers safe.

“We are already seeing nonprofits closing their doors, and we are the endorsement of the people,” said Rick Cohen, communications director for the National Council of Nonprofits. “We are where they go when government programs are exhausted or when they are not enough. And if we are not there. Where are people going?

Nonprofits “weren’t designed to retain that many people for that long,” said NELP’s Evermore. “All of these are finite resources.”

“Unemployment insurance is the program we created to address this particular problem,” he continued. “And without him, we can’t.”

Jessica Oyanagi, 40, was running a photography business in Maui when the pandemic struck and she lost most of her clients. Because her photographers were independent contractors rather than employees, she was only eligible for unemployment insurance under PUA.

The program brings her around $ 1,000 a month, which is not yet enough to make ends meet – she and her husband were forced to move in with their parents, and they depend in part on food stamps to support themselves. and his daughter fed.

It has been “the most stressful year of my entire life, I am not going to lie,” said Oyanagi. “Every area of ​​our life has completely changed.”

Oyanagi is not alone: ​​in mid-November, more than 27 million people told the Census Bureau that they depended on unemployment benefits to meet your spending needs. More than 75 million said they expected to lose their income from work in the next four weeks. And nearly 17 million people reported using SNAP benefits, better known as food stamps, to survive.

“They’re already behind on rent, they’re already behind on bills, they’re already struggling to pay for utilities, and now they’re about to lose what little income they still have,” said Julia Simon-Mishel, who runs the unemployment compensation practice at Philadelphia Legal Assistance, which serves low-income families.

The end of the eviction moratorium imposed by the Trump administration in September also poses a threat.

About 11.4 million renter households will owe an average of just over $ 6,000 in back rent, utilities and late fees totaling about $ 70 billion as of January. according to Moody’s Analytics.


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