Rent comes due again after 30 million filed for unemployment amid coronavirus outbreak – and many have STILL not received benefits from overwhelmed state systems

Friday, May 1, 2020
By Paul Martin

Rent is due on Friday after 30 million people filed unemployment claims
An untold number are still waiting for benefits weeks after applying
Pain is expected to be greater in May than April, deep into state lockdowns
Landlords are also in a cash crunch with taxes and utility payments due

1 May 2020

The rent is due again for more than 30 million people around the U.S. who have filed for unemployment benefits after losing work in the coronavirus pandemic.

Across the nation, households with dwindling bank accounts face tough choices between putting food on the table and paying the rent — while landlords face their own cash crunch with taxes and utilities due.

An untold number of those who have been laid off or furloughed are still waiting to receive federal stimulus checks or unemployment benefits from overtaxed state labor departments with antiquated systems.

Jason W. Still has been waiting six weeks for his first unemployment check since losing his job as a cook at an upscale restaurant in Spokane, Washington.

Out-of-work bartender Luke Blaine in Phoenix got his first check three weeks ago, but now has to pay his landlord again.

And Eli Oderberg in Denver has his mortgage due after being swept up in a later wave of layoffs as the pandemic’s effects spread from restaurants to corners of the economy, like the oil company where he had worked on apps to track spills and leaks.

Federal data released this week show the U.S. economy contracted at a 4.8 percent annual rate last quarter as the pandemic put the nation into a recession.

Economists expect January-March to be just a taste of the widespread pain being recorded for April-June.

And while a record number of people have applied for unemployment insurance payments, there are many other out-of-work people who don’t qualify or couldn’t get through the states’ overwhelmed systems.

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