Two anchors of the COVID safety net end, which affect millions

Mary Taboniar was without a job for 15 months due to the COVID pandemic. The virus decimated the hospitality industry, leaving Mary Taboniar, a single mother of two, without a job at Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu.

Two anchors of the COVID safety net end, which affect millions

Mary Taboniar was without a job for 15 months due to the COVID pandemic. The virus decimated the hospitality industry, leaving Mary Taboniar, a single mother of two, without a job at Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu.

TheEditor
TheEditor
05 September 2021 Sunday 16:01
1063 Reads
Two anchors of the COVID safety net end, which affect millions

Taboniar was dependent on boosted unemployment benefits for more than a decade and a network local foodbanks for her family's survival. Taboniar's work was slow to recover even after the vaccine rollout began and tourists started to travel again. She reached her peak at 11 days in august -- roughly half of her pre-pandemic workload.

Taboniar is just one of the millions of Americans who see Labor Day 2021 as a dangerous crossroads. Two of the main anchors of government's COVID protection program are ending or were recently discontinued. Starting Monday, an estimated 8.9 million people will lose all unemployment benefits. Already, a federal moratorium on eviction has been lifted.

While other aspects of pandemic assistance including rental aid and the expanded Child Tax Credit are still widely available, untold millions of Americans will face Labor Day with a suddenly shrunken social safety net.

Jamie Contreras (secretary-treasurer for the SEIU), a union that represents food service workers at airports and custodians of office buildings, said, "This will be an double whammy in hardship." "We are not done. People still need help. Millions of people still need help.

Taboniar, 43 years old, will lose her unemployment benefits, even though her hours are reduced. A fresh virus surge prompted Hawaii's governor to recommend that vacationers delay their plans.

She said, "It's really frightening me." "How do I pay rent if my job isn’t back and I don’t have unemployment?"

Although she plans to apply for the expanded SNAP assistance program (also known as food stamps), she is unsure if that will be enough. She said, "I'm just grasping at anything."

The administration of President Joe Biden believes that the U.S. economic strength is sufficient to withstand evictions and drops in unemployment benefits. Officials insist that other safety net elements, such as the Child Tax Credit (which Biden permanent boosted earlier in the summer), and the SNAP program (which Biden permanently boosted this summer), are sufficient to stabilize things. A spokesperson for the White House stated that there was no plan to reconsider the ending of unemployment benefits.

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