Furloughed in March and laid off in May, Kendra Koprovich remains worried about the future.
“[I] went from making a decent income to basically nothing,” Koprovich said. “How am I going to pay my car? My mortgage? My daughter’s getting ready to go to college.”
With her unemployment benefits maxed, the new coronavirus relief bill from Congress is welcome, still she knows it’s not enough.
The new bill will give everyone collecting unemployment an extra $300 for 11 weeks until March 14th, but that’s half of what was given in the first cares act that expired over the summer.
“Don’t get me wrong, $300 I appreciate it, but that’s still not going to keep my lights on,” Koprovich said.
Also included in the aide package is a new round of one time stimulus checks.
Up to $600 for individuals earning up to $75,000 and couples earning $150,000. Taxpayers get an additional $600 for each child under age 17.
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So a family of four at the full benefit amount could potentially receive $2,400.
The stimulus checks are based on income and not on employment status, a problem said SMU economist Dean Stansel.
“Part of the problem with the approach we’ve taken so far is that the relief is poorly targeted,” said Dean Stansel, economist with SMU’s Cox School of Business and the Bridewell Institute. “Some millions of people out there haven’t missed a paycheck, yet they’re getting a check from the government.”
“If you’re giving money to people who haven’t missed a paycheck that’s less money you have available to help those who really need it,” Stansel said.
Koprovich continues to look for a job to replace the one she lost in sales and is going back to school to pursue a real estate license.
Despite the worries, she remains hopeful about 2021.
“My hope is get a good job,” said Koprovich. “And, hopefully the government will come together and take some thought to what’s going on and figure out what they can do to sustain the American people because we are hurting out here.”