These people want to get back to work but can’t — and fear losing $300-a-week benefits will spell financial disaster


By Tami Luhby, CNN

Updated 4:23 PM ET, Tue June 1, 2021

(CNN) Once she became fully vaccinated in April, Lindsey Bates wanted to get back to work. A restaurant server with more than 20 years of experience, she figured she wouldn’t have trouble finding a position since hospitality workers are in high demand and she had never been unemployed before.

That hasn’t been the case. Though the Orlando, Florida, resident has been applying to at least five jobs every day on Indeed and Facebook Marketplace, she has yet to even be called in for an interview.
Now, she’s facing a crunch. Florida is one of at least 24 Republican-led states that recently announced they were terminating pandemic unemployment benefits early, which means Bates will lose the $300 weekly federal boost to the $275 she receives weekly in jobless benefits at the end of June.

Though the combined payment is less than two-thirds what she was making at her last job, as a server at IHOP, it was keeping her and her 5-year-old son afloat. She’s doesn’t know how she’ll afford their $1,200 a month rent without the $300 federal enhancement, which Congress approved in late December as part of a stimulus deal.


Carl Sagan

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