Kansans losing jobless benefits after CARES Act programs expire

Published: Dec. 26, 2020 at 10:22 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Kansans federal unemployment payments through the CARES Act are losing their benefits Saturday night.

That means all three coronavirus unemployment programs will be over -- leaving many unemployed Kansans with no source of income.

This can be extended if President Donald Trump sign Congress’ latest stimulus bill.

75,000 Kansans are losing federal unemployment benefits when they expire.

“It’s devastating. It just devastates you -- mentally, emotionally. I have a child I have to care for,” Kayvon Seasman said.

The only way Kansans will get them back is if Trump signs Congress’ latest stimulus bill.

If passed, three CARES Act programs will be extended 11 more weeks -- the FPUC, PUA, and PEUC. For many, they’re needed desperately.

“Not being able to go to Costco or Sam’s and get groceries. When you don’t have the means to get those things anymore and depend on food pantries and food banks, that’s a complete 360.”

“I am so humble now that when I see people panhandling out on the street, because that could be me. I could be sleeping next to dumpsters with my 5-year-old son.”

The stimulus checks that come with the bill would also help.

“Even the $2,000, I mean, I could go back and get my car that I lost during this whole situation of having to penny pitch, and scrap for money while I wait for payments that never show up.”

Even if the stimulus bill passes, it won’t be an immediate fix.

KDOL said first, it must wait for federal guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor. Then, it’ll take around two weeks to start sending payments.

But Kansans like Kayvon may not have time to wait.

“Right now, at any time, any day during the week, I could have a sheriff come to my door and tell me he’s evicting me out. That uncertainty right there, not knowing if I’ll be able to pay my landlord so I don’t end up on the streets.”

If the stimulus bill passes, KDOL will also continue to use its outdated system to process these payments, but says in the meantime, it is working on making improvements.

KDOL says if claimants have been approved for these programs but still haven’t received payments, they will get that money, even though the programs have ended.

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