Unemployment benefits ran out Saturday for millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic. There is an extension of jobless benefits for people in the stimulus plan passed by Congress, but President Trump has blasted the plan and has not signed it yet. Now, many San Diegans are in financial limbo.
“I don’t know. Truly for the first time in my life I’m really lost on what to do,” said Beau Doiron, an unemployed DJ.
Doiron is among the people who no longer has an unemployment check coming.
“Yeah it’s rough. I had to move out of my place in Encinitas. I’ve got no income coming in right now,” said Doiron.
For the past 12 years, Doiron has made a good living entertaining people. Before the pandemic, December would be his busiest time of year.
“December for a DJ: we have holiday parties, there’s always something going on for Christmas,” said Doiron.
“There’s always a New Year’s gig. December is always bit so it’s really odd not having income,” said Doiron.
Beau has considered changing his career, but he remains uncertain, not knowing if the events he booked for 2021 will be cancelled.
Across the U.S. an estimated 12 million Americans will have their unemployment benefits lapse on Saturday, according to an analysis by the think tank, The Century Foundation. According to their analysis, 1.6 million California residents will have their jobless benefits lapse on Saturday.
The lapse in unemployment benefits comes as San Diego hospitals deal with a surge of COVID-19 patients. Doiron’s girlfriend is a trauma nurse at a local hospital, which gives him a unique perspective on the emotional toll of the pandemic.
“Seeing what they’re going through every night is heartbreaking. Every night it’s really tough to watch her come home,” said Doiron.
While he would like to get back to work as soon as possible, Doiron is cautious about the health risks.
“The data shows where COVID-19 is spreading and we do need to shut down right now, but the government needs to do their part and take care of us until we reopen again,” said Doiron.
The State of California Employment Development Department says it cannot implement new unemployment benefits until the President signs the stimulus legislation. California EDD is preparing for the bill signing and is prepared to make new benefits available quickly after the President signs.