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Extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits ends July 25 for Wisconsinites

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- According to the Wisconsin Dept. of Workforce Development, the extra $600 a week people on unemployment are receiving ends on Saturday, July 25. The change is leaving some Wisconsinites worried about their financial stability.

July 25 is also the same day the federal eviction moratorium ends. The Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee says this will only create an uptick in people struggling to make ends meet.

“Once the $600 leaves, I’m going to be left with like something like $290 a week,” says Brett Lipshutz with Wisconsin Unemployment Action Group.

Lipshutz was laid off as a software trainer in Milwaukee during the pandemic. 

“That doesn’t mean I’m going to have a comfortable life, it just means I’m going to be able to have my apartment and eat,” he adds.

Lipshutz says while he feels fortunate he can make money by teaching language and being a musician, not everyone will be in the same boat when it comes to finding a job.

“People are trying to get jobs that are not paying living wages. So what’s happening is unemployment is taking away from their unemployment benefits when they start claiming that money, but it’s still not enough to live on,” says Lipshutz.  

“Not all of the positions are going to be good fits for many of the people looking for jobs,” says Brad Hershbein, Senior Economist at the Upjohn Institute for Unemployment Research. “There are still far more unemployed people than there are jobs available.”

According to DWD, last week nearly 25,000 Wisconsinites applied for unemployment, an almost 4,000 decrease from the week prior. While the number of applications may be dwindling, there are still nearly 569,000 claims that have not finished processing since mid-March.

“There are not enough workers to process,” says Tavion Williams. “I feel very distraught.”

Wililams is a father to two kids and a small business owner. He hasn’t received any type of government aids he applied for in March.

“My savings went out having to back pay rent, and I’m now even to the point where I’m going through an eviction with my rent,” he says.

Hershbein says congress is discussing potential second stimulus payments and unemployment benefits, but it may not come quickly enough.

“There’s sticking points about whether it should stay at $600, whether it should be less, that’s still being negotiated, there might be a resolution in a few weeks,” says Hershbein.

“So, what do people do? That’s the problem,” says Lipshutz.

Hershbein says for people who are still waiting for unemployment benefits, his best advice is to keep trying and constantly check on your claim.

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