Twelve million people would lose federal benefits the day after Christmas if Congress does not pass extensions for key unemployment programs, according to a study by The Century Foundation, a progressive think tank.
“Absent congressional action to extend CARES Act benefits, December 26 will mark the end of one of the last lifelines available to millions of Americans in desperate need,” said Andrew Stettner, who co-authored the study with Elizabeth Pancotti. “It will be a crippling end to one of our darkest years.”
Congress passed a slew of expanded benefits programs in the CARES Act, March’s emergency COVID-19 relief bill. One program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, expanded eligibility to the self-employed and gig economy workers, a group that normally is not eligible for unemployment benefits.