Amidst ongoing, failing negotiations, Congress has still not been able to agree on economic relief. Many Americans have been wondering whether more financial aid is on the way, as the coronavirus pandemic remains a problem in the United States. In response to the growing need for monetary relief, Oregon is implementing a new program to grant its citizens $500 in aid.
According to Fox 12 Oregon, citizens in the state who are still waiting for their unemployment benefits can apply for a one-time $500 payment starting on Wednesday. This program, which totals $35 million, was approved by lawmakers in the state in mid-July. It could help up to 70,000 Oregon residents who are dealing with issues associated with the current coronavirus pandemic. In Oregon, more than 500,000 individuals have filed for unemployment since the start of the health crisis, and it has caused significant delays in getting payments out to those who lost their jobs. Oregon's new program will use funds from the CARES Act to provide this $500 to individuals who need it.
"After months of hearing from increasingly desperate Oregonians who were doing everything right and still not getting the unemployment they were owed, we hope this effort offers a streamlined way for some financial relief," House Speaker Tina Kotek said on Wednesday. "The state is stepping up, and I hope Congress will act soon to provide more support that is desperately needed." Senate President Peter Courtney also said, "We know $500 isn't going to solve all of these problems, but if we can help a family buy groceries for the month, pay for child care, or cover an unexpected repair, it's worth it."
To qualify for this additional check, jobless individuals must have made less than $4,000 before taxes per month before losing their job, be age 18 or older, and their employer must have closed or their income was "decreased significantly because of executive actions by Gov. Kate Brown to slow the spread of COVID-19." If your unemployment benefits are up to date, you are not eligible to receive any funding from this program. In terms of what aid that the federal government can provide, Congress has made no further headway regarding its second stimulus package. But, based on previous proposals that have been floated through Congress, Americans can likely expect to receive another, one-time $1,200 check when and if they can agree.