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'What Will I Be Eating?': Unemployed New Yorkers Brace For Changes In Federal Unemployment Payments

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — At the end of the month, the $600 weekly federal unemployment benefits payments will end. Meantime, Republicans are at odds as another stimulus is being crafted.

Kimberlee Walker is an actor and now, a former museum educator.

"I found out yesterday that in addition to all the other part-time staff, I am no longer furloughed. I have been laid off," Walker said in an interview with CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas.

She's among the more than 3 million New Yorkers making ends meet on unemployment. But the extra $600 a week payment from the federal government will expire at the end of the month.

"I will be making $400 a week with just regular unemployment, which I might be able to scrape that together and make that work, but what will I be eating?" said unemployed actor Jonathan Hoover.

On Thursday, Republican leaders will release the framework of a $1 trillion coronavirus relief bill. It comes as Senate Republicans remain at odds over spending. The package does not include a payroll tax cut that President Donald Trump supported, but allows supplemental payments to the unemployed, although it may be much less than before.


"We are not going to pay people more to stay home than to work," said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. "So we're looking at something that looks like a 70% wage replacement."

Few jobs are available during a global pandemic. Now, the unemployed are having to make even tougher decisions.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

"If I am unable to pay my bills and to pay rent, that's another line of thinking I'm trying hard not to go too far into, but I know people that have left the city," said Walker.

They're hoping Congress strikes a deal soon that provides continued relief.

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