American Workers struggle to find financial help from Unemployment during COVID-19


BUFFALO – The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unemployment rates in the United States to skyrocket to an all-time high. Not only are people currently without jobs, but those people are also struggling to find governmental assistance to help them financially survive during this time of struggle.

Noah Custard is one of these people who struggled to find a solution when his place of work closed. The custard was a manager at Skyzone; an indoor trampoline park that closed in March and has yet to reopen. Custard said that it took months before he was able to get a response from unemployment services and that he had to message them through the social media app Twitter before he could get in touch with someone.

“I want to say it took me like 3 months before I even got a word back… so I actually had to reach out on Twitter and I got a DM [Direct Message] back from them, and they were like, ‘oh we’re looking at your file it’ll be done eventually'”, Custard said.

Custard was also one of the millions of Americans who are over 18 but are still registered as dependents under their parents. Therefore he was never eligible for the $1200 stimulus checks that were released in early April. Custard went 3 months without any income after his employer closed in March.

Corine Salemme is another person who struggled with trying to apply for unemployment when both of her jobs were shut down in March. She is both a waitress at a restaurant and a hairdresser. Like Custard, Salemme struggled to get in touch with someone at unemployment services.

“It took me hours to get through to unemployment”, Salemme said. “I was living comfortably finally… I ended up going through all my savings. It’s just not enough, we are definitely struggling”.

Like Custard and like millions of other Americans at this time, Salemme struggled to find help through unemployment. She also said that when she did receive financial help, that it was not even close to what she had been making at her other jobs. Like Custard, Salemme went 3 months without income. However, she did qualify for the April stimulus checks, which she says did help then.

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