Reed: $300 bump in unemployment isn’t enough

Politics

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Islanders who are out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic will soon receive a $300 boost, but Sen. Jack Reed tells 12 News that a few hundred dollars a week will not be enough for most families.

The state’s Department of Labor and Training said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has given enough money to cover an extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits for five weeks. Therefore, people receiving unemployment as of Aug. 1 will be eligible for a total of $1,500.

“We tried and we will keep trying to have a more extended and more robust benefit for people who are, without their own fault, out of work,” Reed said.

He said it’s a start, but not as good as the previous $600 weekly bonus.

“People are still in very difficult positions,” Reed said. “The $300 increase is appreciated, but for many families not sufficient to maintain their basic household functions, rent, food, taking care of children. Not only will we I think inhibit families for taking care of themselves, we will also not provide stimulus to the economy and we need it.”

Reed said securing more money for unemployed Rhode Islanders is something he will continue doing until the disease is defeated.

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