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Jobless Ohioans Worry As $600 Federal Payments Set To Expire Tomorrow

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

For unemployed Ohioans, the additional $600 weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation added to their state benefits is set to expire tomorrow. Congress has not passed a new coronavirus relief package, and local jobless residents worry they will not be able to make ends meet. 

Michelle Williams lives with her two children and a newborn grandchild in Dayton. She has been receiving around $800 a week through unemployment. That is only about half as much as she made when she was working before the pandemic cleaning houses and university buildings. Subtract the federal payment, and her unemployment checks would be less than $200. She does not know how she would be able to pay her bills with such a low payment.

“It puts me in tears thinking about it because I don't know how we're going to make it," she said. “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 an additional 20 weeks of Extended Benefits for unemployed people. But without the federal boost, jobless Ohioans and the broader economy could face even more struggles. 

While working at the station Leila Goldstein has covered the economic effects of grocery cooperatives, police reform efforts in Dayton and the local impact of the coronavirus pandemic on hiring trends, telehealth and public parks. She also reported Trafficked, a four part series on misinformation and human trafficking in Ohio.