CLEVELAND — It’s been a week since President Donald Trump signed off on the latest stimulus package which includes $300 per week in federal unemployment - half the amount of the Cares Act signed last March.
“It’s not providing the same level of support as we did last year and I think that was really successful,” said Research Director of Policy Matters Ohio Zach Schiller.
Close to 400,000 Ohioans were receiving benefits in 2020.
Schiller said for many, it’s a situation being complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.
“When we're telling people to not go outside, to stay at home, and while yes, they can search for work on the internet and perhaps do a job interview, and in some instances start a new job, this is not a typical situation where everyone is easily able to seek work in the way they were before,” he said.
Another cause for concern is the duration of the new benefits.
“They’re not long-lasting enough. You know, most of these measures only last until the middle of March.”
The last unemployment benefits expired just before the New Year after President Donald Trump refused to sign a $900 billion coronavirus relief package. That package would have extended the same unemployment benefits set in March.
Trump didn't sign the bill until Dec. 28, after two programs providing unemployment benefits expired.
The new bill signed with the relief package includes a one-month extension for the eviction moratorium as well as a $300 weekly bonus payment for those filing unemployment, which is far less than what people were receiving before benefits expired Christmas weekend. The $300 checks are also slated to last just 10 weeks when it was initially supposed to be 11.
The new bill also doesn't state whether the paychecks will be retroactive.