In the last week 4.427 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time, bringing the four-week total to 26.5 million.
The final numbers may worsen due to the bailout itself as it increases eligibility for jobless claims to self-employed and gig workers, extends the maximum number of weeks that one can receive benefits, and provides an additional $600 per week until July 31. The Wall Street Journal noted that this has created incentives for some businesses to temporarily furlough their employees, knowing that they will be covered financially as the economy is shutdown.
The Epoch Times’ Zachary Stieber reports that food stamp benefits are up 40%, according to the Department of Agriculture.
Families receiving food stamps can typically get a maximum benefit of $768, but due to the increase in emergency benefits, the average five-person household can get an additional $240 monthly for buying food. Families already at the maximum won’t get additional benefits.
SNAP normally costs the U.S. government approximately $4.5 billion each month. The allotments made under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which President Donald Trump signed, is adding nearly $2 billion per month to that total. The emergency funds are made available through waivers the Department of Agriculture makes for each state.