Americans struggle to make ends meet amid pandemic

FILE – In this March 18, 2020 file photo, visitors to the Department of Labor are turned away at the door by personnel due to closures over coronavirus concerns in New York. A record-high number of people applied for unemployment benefits last week as layoffs engulfed the United States in the face of a near-total economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus. The surge in weekly applications for benefits far exceeded the previous record set in 1982. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

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UPDATED 11:35 AM PT — Wednesday, April 1, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on communities, thousands of businesses are being forced to close and millions of Americans are now wondering how they will make ends meet.

“After my mom lost her full-time job, our biggest fear is getting evicted and becoming homeless,” said Jade Brooks, a resident of Boston, Massachusetts.

After states began implementing stay-at-home orders last month, all non-essential businesses were forced to close their doors. Since then, more than 3.3. million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits.

“I’m still awaiting a determination letter from the unemployment office and from the coworkers I’ve spoken to in my work, they’re in the same position,” explained Jason Still, a resident of Spokane, Washington. “So, I think everyone’s just remaining optimistic that the benefits will kick in before a lot of bills pile up.”

In this Monday, March 30, 2020, photo, a line of around fifty people extends from the door of Arkansas Workforce Center in Fayetteville, Ark. For information about small business loans and applying for Arkansas unemployment benefits go to (JT Wampler/The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

While the White House has assured Americans that help is on the way after passing three economic stimulus bills meant to aid people hurt by the pandemic, many fear the help wont come soon enough.

“Currently laid off due to COVID-19 pandemic, worried about how to pay my April 1st rent,” said JAs Wheeler, a resident of Burlington, Vermont. “And also we just closed on a house, so worried about paying our first mortgage payment on May 1st in addition to my credit card bills.”

Last week, lawmakers passed a $2 trillion stimulus package, which included stimulus checks for millions of Americans. Each single tax payer is set to receive $1,200 with parents receiving an additional $500 per child.

The Treasury Department said Americans who used direct deposit when filing can expect payment within the next three weeks. However, an estimated timeline has not been given for those who opted to receive check by mail.

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