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Thursday, November 19, 2020
12 Million To Lose Jobless Benefits The Day After Christmas Unless Congress Acts
Todd Anderson is a single dad raising four children in Mackinaw City, Mich. "I'm pretty honest and open with them," he says. "They know we're in a spot right now."
Updated at 8:48 a.m. ET
The day after Christmas, millions of Americans will lose their jobless benefits, according to a new study. And that could spell financial ruin for many people, like 44-year-old Todd Anderson in the small town of Mackinaw City, Mich.
Anderson's a single dad with four kids — two of them 5-year-old twins. He lost his income after the pandemic hit in the spring. He did landscape design at resorts that host big weddings, and he says all that's been shut down.
His $362 a week in unemployment benefits is barely enough to live on. So he's been selling off his belongings to try to get by — some cabinets he had, a pair of hiking boots. "I sold tools, tools of my trade," he says. "I sold hoping that I can re-buy them as I get on my feet.
"Millions of people all over the country are living similarly close to the edge.
"Congress is set to cut off 12 million Americans from the only thing holding them back from falling into financial wreckage and disaster," says Andrew Stettner, a co-author of the new study from the progressive-leaning think tank the Century Foundation.
Stettner says two important federal pandemic jobless relief programs have been a lifeline for people such as Anderson who have exhausted their state unemployment benefits or didn't qualify.
But with Congress stuck in a months-long stalemate over another relief bill, these programs are set to expire.
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