"But the $600 is Just Too Much."
It's Predominantly Too Little
The FPUC benefits are designed to provide a livable wage during a pandemic. Why $600? Because in 2019, the national average unemployment payment was $370 per week and the national average salary for unemployment recipients was $970 per week. $600 was decided on to bridge that difference. The CARES act was originally put in place because of the pandemic numbers at the time, which have only increased in both infection and mortality rates. Why should the next relief package be any LESS than that?
See our breakdown of livable wages by state.
The argument that $600 is more than some people make when they are employed is a problem of this country’s economy, not of the FPUC. Addtionally, the idea that most are making more has been studied and disproven. The FPUC provides an average living wage. Unfortunately many jobs in America do not. Minimum wage in America is not a living wage.
For some, the $600 is considerably less than they are used to and their bills remains the same.
The additional $600 per week received by many Americans has allowed them to continue to pay rent. Failure to provide this extended benefit will only worsen the current rent crisis, as many cities and states are already struggling to provide meaningful rent assistance resources.
40 Million people are at risk of eviction with eviction protections beginning to phase out with the expiration of FPUC at the end of July.
Fourty-four percent of Americans are afraid they won’t be able to afford food, and the numbers are even worse for those who are in the gig economy and/or collecting unemployment.
Food banks are being overrun and new SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) enrollments have increased 100% in some areas since the pandemic began.
People also have new expenses due to losing their jobs, such as self pay health insurance.
The expiration of the FPUC intersecting with the government forcing schools to reopen hits parents particularly hard, who are now responsible for buying their children school supplies, back-to-school clothing sporting equipment and PPE with little to no income.
Hundreds of billions of dollars have been given out by the federal government to giant corporations with zero oversight. Individuals getting $600/wk to survive are not the problem.
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