Congressman Hank Johnson
|ATLANTA—Georgia workers will hold a tele-town hall with Congressman Hank Johnson on Thursday(July 16), 6 p.m., to discuss the expiration of the federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. This additional $600 a week benefit is set to expire for American workers on July 31, which could impact millions who remain out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The New Georgia Project, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, and unemployed Georgia workers will join Johnson for the tele-meeting, which will be moderated by Deana Holiday Ingraham, Mayor of East Point.
The CARES Act, passed by Congress in March, extended unemployment insurance(UI) to previously ineligible people, including self-employed business operators, independent contractors, and people with caregiving responsibilities impacted by COVID-related closures. The CARES Act also added a $600 weekly supplemental benefit, which will expire July 31 unless Congress acts.
“Economists estimate that extending these benefits for a year would generate over $19 billion in income to Georgia residents and save 186,605 jobs. Failure to extend unemployment insurance benefits would widen our state’s racial wealth gap: Black and brown workers are more likely than white workers to face unemployment and have fewer savings,” the New Georgia Project said in a news release.
At the town hall, unemployed workers will share their experiences accessing the unemployment system. Jobless people who have been excluded from, denied, or are still waiting for unemployment benefits will share how they have been forced to survive without income. Unemployed workers who are relying on the $600 weekly supplement will describe how the additional funds impacted their lives and what a future without this additional money during a pandemic may look like.
Johnson will deliver remarks on the debate in Congress on extending federal unemployment benefits, expanding eligibility, and allocating funds to struggling state unemployment agencies to expedite claims processing.
To access the tele-meeting, Click here to RSVP
New Georgia Project is a nonpartisan effort to register and civically engage Georgians