For unemployed Ohioans, the additional $600 weekly federal payment added to their benefits expired on Saturday. Congress hasn’t passed a new coronavirus relief package, and local jobless residents worry they won’t be able to make ends meet.
Michelle Williams lives with her two children and a newborn grandchild in Dayton. She’s been receiving around $800 a week through unemployment after she lost work as a house cleaner during the pandemic.
Subtract the federal payment, and her unemployment checks would be less than $200. She doesn’t know how she’d be able to pay her bills with that.
"It puts me in tears thinking about it because I don't know how we're going to make it," Williams says. "I don't know if we're going to have to downsize, if we're going to have to go from a house to an apartment. I don't know how we're going to make it."
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced earlier this month that claimants could receive an additional 20 weeks of extended state unemployment benefits. However, without the federal boost, jobless Ohioans and the broader economy could face even more struggles.