Federal pandemic unemployment benefits of $600 a week ended at the beginning of August, leaving many in the U.S. desperate for an extension or a new form of income. Despite pleas from Americans to extend the insurance due to continued job losses and business closures, Congress has failed to reach a new stimulus deal, with the Senate adjourning again until Oct. 19. New data shows how tens of millions of Americans are still relying on unemployment insurance while Congress continues to deliberate.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, over 28 million people in the U.S. are either currently on unemployment insurance or are waiting for approval. The bulk of these are continued insurance claims that in some cases have lasted for months. While a majority of these continued claims come from state-issued insurance, over 11 million are still reliant on the federal government’s pandemic unemployment insurance.
Along with unemployment benefits expiring, the federal eviction moratorium also expired at the beginning of August. Unless a city or state has continued its moratorium, people renting apartments or houses are now required to continue paying rent even if they have no source of income after losing their job due to state- and federal-issued COVID-19 restrictions. Reports of an impending eviction crisis show upwards of 20 million Americans are at risk of eviction in the coming months if a federal moratorium isn’t extended.