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Hours after learning the unemployment rate is 15% percent, Gov. Kay Ivey said some of you can return to work Monday at 5 p.m.
But going back to work for some people means they still won't be making as much money prior to the coronavirus.
After waiting six weeks, Jenna Daniel finally received her first unemployment benefits this week. It included back pay and a couple of thousand dollars from the federal government’s stimulus package. That federal money stops at the end of July and that’s when problems may really start for people out of work.
"It was hard. We didn't know if we were going to get approved or when we were going to get the money," said Daniel.
Daniel is a little nervous about the future for a few reasons. The hairdresser said she cares for her mother who has an underlying health condition that would make her susceptible to the disease. Daniel worries about going back to work as a hairdresser and possibly exposing herself and family members to the coronaviurs. She's also worried because there are a lot of questions and concerns about salons and limits on the number of customers.
"With us going back to work with the restrictions depending on what they are we may actually lose money. If were only able to do two or three clients a day versus when I normally do six or seven I won't be making as much as I make on unemployment," said Daniel.
Daniel is one of the millions of Americans helped by the federal government adding $600 to all unemployment checks through the end of July, but when that money’s gone, Alabama only pays up to $275 per week. That’s about $14,000 a year and Daniel worries if something happens again with the coronavirus she will be back on unemployment again, or waiting for it.
"You have no idea and if they do it again what kind of funding is there going to be? I'm not one to usually depend on one for funding but when they make you shutdown it's different," said Daniel.
In Washington Congress is looking at several other potential bills that could help Americans in the next coming months but the White House has said it won't pass any of those this month. So far it's unclear if another funding boost to unemployment will happen, or what other jobs could disappear completely.