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Federal unemployment bonus expires

Published: Jul. 26, 2020 at 12:39 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Workers unemployed due to coronavirus have been getting an extra $600 a week due to the federal CARES Act. But those extra funds are set to expire.

There is talk in Washington of passing another stimulus package, but as of now, unemployed people across the country are gearing up to take a huge financial hit.

“I’ve already been told by my doctors that I may have a 50/50 chance of surviving due to my health conditions,” says 29-year-old Troy Heath.

Heath was born with a lung condition. He was not supposed to live to adulthood. Now, he’s a father faced with the risk of COVID-19 and caring for his family.

“I have bills to pay. I have a lot of bills to pay,” he says.

When Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued the stay-at-home order in May, Heath was completely out of his restaurant job for three weeks. He wife was unemployed for five. They, along with millions of other Americans, both received an extra $600 per week of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. That extra money is expiring, and the last checks will go out this coming week.

“The $600 I got has been great, but now that it’s ending, it’s really going to affect myself just alone,” says Heath.

He’s back at work, but it’s only part-time, and not enough to keep him from filing for additional funding from unemployment.

“I can’t live off of $189 a week,” he says.

Heath is not the only one in this position. According to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, the unemployment rate in Ohio last month was 10.9%, up from 4.1% in June of last year.

And all of those Ohioans filing for unemployment are going to start getting much smaller checks.

“Money’s going to be really tight now. Really, really bad,” says Heath.

According to Ohio Jobs and Family Services, there were 631,000 unemployed Ohioans in June. Numbers are not yet available for July.

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