‘It’s Really Stressful’ Waiting for Congress to Reach Stimulus Deal

August 10, 2020

Bloomfield resident Abbey Rideout said the additional jobless benefits Congress approved in late March made a huge difference for her and her partner, who’s also unemployed. Part of a larger pandemic stimulus package, the program gave an extra $600 a week to those who were already receiving unemployment insurance through their state.

Congress has yet to reach a deal on a new stimulus bill, which has left Rideout waiting anxiously for more relief.

“Right now, I wake up at 6 in the morning every morning to walk my dog, and the first thing I do is listen to the news ... and try to hear if there’s any update. It’s really stressful. I’m holding out hope that a decision is made sooner than later,” Rideout said.

Cathy Martin, director of advocacy at Neighborhood Legal Services, noted that supplemental federal relief would help to prop up the broader economy. “People who are struggling,” the attorney said, will “immediately [use additional benefits] by paying the bills, buying food, and paying the rent, which helps the landlords, too.”

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