Federal unemployment benefit of $600 ends this weekend

CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) – Time is running out for millions of Americans who are unemployed and depend on the federal benefit of $600 dollars a week.

That benefit ends this weekend.

Aleena Reyes of Cranston is fearing the worst, knowing in just days that the extra $600 dollars per week in federal unemployment benefits she has been receiving and relying on during the pandemic, will come to an end.

“Without that $600 things are going to be really scary for a lot of people.” Reyes said.

Reyes lost her job as a lead teacher at a day care in the middle of march. For a few months, she began working odd jobs to pay her bills, but her income still wasn’t enough.

She filed for unemployment in June, along with getting that extra $600 in benefits. At that point, Reyes finally had some sense of relief.

“I was able to pay my rent on time, all my bills, credit card bills, everything that I had accumulated in the past few months.”

Now, when the federal benefits come to an end, her weekly pay will drop from around $800 dollars to $200! A roughly 75 percent decline.

Reyes is worried about her future.

“I have student loans to pay, I’m going back to school so I have new loans, I’m watching my credit go down in the dumps because of things I can’t control.” Reyes said.

And Reyes isn’t alone, as she is one of tens of thousands of people in the state who depend on that extra money. She hopes congress will extend the benefits, because without it she says many families won’t survive.

“I can see mass evictions, I can see a lot of families not being able to feed their families. I just hope the federal government sees how much how much this extra money has been. If I could back to work tomorrow I would happily do it.”

Reyes is says she is lucky and fortunate that her landlord is working with her by letting her pay rent in payments. Once the extra benefits run out, she may be forced to move in with family.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island