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America's jobless are about to lose their $600-a-week lifeline

Reade Pickert, Michael Sasso and Maeve Sheehey, Bloomberg News on

Published in Business News

"I'm lucky in that I have that to dip into," Haber said. "A lot of people don't."

Getting By While Earning Less

For those receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or the program that extends jobless benefits to those not typically covered like the self-employed and gig workers, the extra $600 often takes on even greater importance.

Raven Gilbert used to manage the bar at Hunter House & Gardens, a wedding and event venue in Huntersville, North Carolina, before she was laid off in March. She said she didn't qualify for regular state jobless benefits but was able to get PUA.

Even with the $600 weekly bonus, the sum falls short of what she was making earlier this year. Though she hopes her job will become available again, she's been looking for a new job but bars are still closed and restaurants are operating at reduced capacity. Without the extra unemployment benefit, she qualifies for just $134 a week in government aid.

 

"I don't know what will happen," Gilbert said. "I don't know that I'll be able to make my bills or buy enough food."

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