Heidi Shierholz, Economic Policy Institute, Harry discussed on Morning Edition


As we were talking about a little bit ago. Right now, More than 30 million people are trying to figure out how to pay their bills without the extra $600 a week that Washington was paying them. But as marketplaces Samantha Field reports, some unemployed people never got that money in the first place or any other unemployment benefits, even though they are eligible. Harry my circle. It's tried to file for unemployment this spring in Wisconsin when he lost his job as a painter. I tried and tried and tried to call and Chlo and called in said on the phone for hours and hours and hours on hold and never got through that nobody After a while, he got so discouraged that he gave up. I just got tired of being on her own list into that stupid music. Going nowhere. Nobody ever answers you're on hold next available operator will come true. Never comes. When you have that experience over and over and over again, I actually conceived why somebody would just say Forget it and give up. Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute says there's no way to know how many people have given up on trying to file for unemployment. But what we know is it's still a big problem. Another big problem is that a lot of people don't know they can apply for unemployment. There's just so much confusion Annalise Cougars with the Brookings Institution, and she says often, people don't even think they're eligible. I think a lot of people that work part time or who worked, for example, is tipped workers. They might just assume that they're not gonna hold by. But the cares act expanded eligibility for unemployment, so they probably would A lot of people who have been going without benefits for months are barely getting by Harry my circle. It's fell behind on rent almost immediately back in April and almost everything else to him behind on my electric and gas on behind on my phone and Food. I'm just hanging in. There have been going to food pantries and so forth and stuff like that. Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute says people in my circle with his position should not give up on trying to get unemployment. Even if it's been months, she says. As long as you can show, I lost my job at this time due to the pandemic, you get benefits. For all the intervening weeks. You get your benefits back to when you lost your bell. And for a lot of people, that could mean many thousands of dollars. I'm Samantha Fields for marketplace.

Coming up next