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Unemployment pay drops, Central Coast jobless workers worry about making ends meet

$400 cash
John Palminteri
Unemployment funding worries impacting the jobless on the Central Coast.
Unemployment
Changes in unemployment benefits have made some jobless workers nervous, even with an additional bonus.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Workers receiving unemployment benefits are nervous about the latest calculations coming from legislators and the White House as their current supplemental income runs out.

Checks of $600 a week, on top of unemployment benefits, had been a big boost in the last four months to jobless workers. That has just run out.

President Trump's executive order to boost unemployment benefits was signed Saturday. It relies on state budgets to help with a quarter of the pay to total $400 in aid.

The bottom line will be about $708 for most workers, on average, when they combine their current unemployment and the additional government aid. There are many variables.

Local workers who are jobless are uneasy about the decisions in Washington, especially as the additional funding is lowered.

Some are financially strapped now, they are underinsured and are in debt.

Those who are eligible for the additional federal benefits would be able to get them retroactively to the week ending August 1.

The executive order says the federal supplement has an end date of December 6 or the funding runs out, whichever happens first.

Some analysts say it will not last past the end of September based on demand.

"$600 less is not going to help us to pay rent, bills and I don't think it is going to be enough," said hospitality worker Juan Martinez. "I have to pay my home insurance, the mortgage everything so just think about it, $2000 right now is not enough."

This leaves those who are jobless with key decisions every month about where will that money go.  In many cases it covers rent, food, other key essentials but that's it.

Hospitality worker Juana Vega was asked about her situation and the numbers didn't add up.  "I don't know,  I don't know," she said. "I have four kids and I mean it's so sad and bad and this is totally not fair."
It's not a personal issue, the stress impacts their friends or family members.

Tina Franco is a human resources worker who has a friend that, "Counts on this money to care for her family because she cares for her whole family."
Her advice when the money arrives is, "It is going to be a little difficult.  Save as much as you can and you have to really just save."

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3 and KCOY 12 Central Coast News.