The sequel to the $2.2. trillion Cares Act could be in place by the end of April, according to Florida Rep. Darren Soto, but for people like Natasha Haggerty receiving unemployment benefits from the current bill has become a major challenge.
“I had a little bit of savings but I have already been through all of that,” the furloughed hair stylist said. “I already paid all my bills this month I’m worried about May.”
Haggerty’s story is one of thousands statewide as the need for unemployment benefits has been side swiped by glitches and red tape.
Haggerty said she was unable to get unemployment benefits even after presenting her social security number online.
“They sent me a letter last week, they wanted me to send some information including my birth certificate,” she said.
Soto said a new round of fiscal relief is already in the works in Washington, D.C. that will be extend unemployment benefits and providing a second stimulus check.
The former Florida state senator said Cares Act 2 will extend existing benefits for unemployment and will deliver a second stimulus check in May.
“Nothing is done until it’s a done deal," the congressman said Tuesday. “We’re ready to act and Congress intends to pass something by the end of April.”
Soto said former Fed Chair Janet Yellen held a conference call with the Democratic caucus Monday indicating the unemployment numbers are far worse than what is being reported.
“She did not go into a forward number," Soto said. "But she did say the actual unemployment rate was closer to 13% than the 6% recorded in late March.”
That assessment seemed to solidify the notion that more benefits are needed beyond the $2.2 trillion fiscal relief package already signed by President Donald Trump.
“She encouraged us to do another round of stimulus including the stimulus checks," Soto said. “It’s a deeper unemployment rate than anyone anticipated.”
The Cares Act 2 has bipartisan support in the U.S. House and Trump has indicated he is open to a Phase 4 lifeline.