$600 boost to unemployment payments about to disappear

Posted at 3:32 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 20:19:01-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Tens of thousands of unemployed San Diegans are about to see the biggest chunk of their income disappear.

That's because the extra $600 in weekly unemployment payments from the Federal Government are expiring this month. The loss will reduce the maximum weekly unemployment paymeny to the $450 that comes from the state.

City Heights resident Abby Heilbron is about to see her weekly checks go from $1,050 to $450. Heilbron, whose husband is still working full time, said a dozen of her friends moved out of San Diego during the pandemic, unable to afford the region's high cost of living.

"And it is going to be a really scary time for a lot of people here, very quickly," Heilbron said.

The extra $600 was part of the Federal stimulus package passed by Congress and the president in late March. The state Employment Development Department says the payments will end July 25.

Whether to extend the benefits is now a political issue on Capitol Hill.

The loss of the income comes when San Diego County restaurants are not allowed to serve indoors, meaning one of the area's biggest sectors is not hiring.

"I've heard the argument that this gives people the incentive not to work, but the problem is that there are fewer alternatives for those people to go work at," said Alan Gin, an economist at the University of San Diego.

The San Diego Association of Governments estimates 240,000 San Diegans are unemployed.

The San Diego Workforce Partnership is offering free job placement services and coaching for those looking for new employment.