PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For the million on unemployment, the COVID relief bill President Donald Trump signed includes an extension of benefits. However, officials are warning that there will be delays getting those benefits.
Those who are unemployed, like event planners, say the added money can’t come soon enough.
“This year has been horrific,” Wendy Hartigan said.
Hartigan, of Angel of Hearts Weddings, based in Philly, is used to planning roughly 20 weddings a year. This year she planned just one.
“It’s financially devastating. I never thought I would be in a position where I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from. And that’s kind of where we all are right now. We’re all in that position, anybody who’s in the event industry,” Hartigan said.
She’s among those anxiously waiting to receive a boost in benefits. But states are warning of a gap for pandemic unemployment benefits.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday repeated a message from the state’s Department of Labor & Workforce Development.
“Unfortunately, it is likely that there will be a lost week of UI benefits, not just a delayed week,” Murphy said.
In Pennsylvania, labor officials say it could be a few weeks before payments are issued. But if you’re among those in need …
“I strongly encourage effective claimants to seek other forms of assistance to cover the gap in payments,” Pennsylvania Labor & Industry Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier said.
Programs like PA Compass and the United Way’s 211 program are available for Pennsylvanians who need help with utilities or food.
Meantime, for those unemployed, the new round of COVID relief can’t come soon enough.
Leon Bibbs was laid off from his maintenance position at the Warwick Hotel in Rittenhouse Square back in March.
“We’re suffering really bad and we need help,” Bibbs said.
“I would tell Washington to stop playing their political games and start thinking about the people who elected them into their offices,” Hartigan said.
For Pennsylvanians needing assistance, click here for a list of resources.
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