Charlotte, NC — July 21, 2020 — A federal stimulus that provides enhanced unemployment benefits to millions of Americans is set to expire at the end of July—leaving a majority of those beneficiaries without a financial plan, according to the results of a new survey from NextAdvisor.
Unemployment in the United States has reached historic heights amid the COVID-19 pandemic, climbing from 3.5% in February to 11.1% in June.The CARES Act, which added an additional $600 per week to the state benefits of those collecting unemployment insurance, is set to expire on July 31.
52% of Americans receiving the benefit say they do not have a financial plan for when the $600 per week benefit expires, according to the survey from NextAdvisor.
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“The extra $600 a week provided by the CARES Act has been a crucial lifeline for millions of people—allowing them to pay their rent, stay in their homes, and afford basic necessities during a period of deep economic stress,” said Adam Auriemma, editor-in-chief of NextAdvisor. “We’re all anxious about what happens if those benefits go away.”
According to the survey, 83% of families where someone in the household is unemployed have been receiving benefits from the CARES Act, and of those Americans, 97% say the benefit has been helpful, with 81% describing it as “very helpful.”
Most Americans (68%), according to the survey, have been using the benefits to pay for basic necessities such as their mortgage, utilities or grocery bills. Other reported uses of the additional check includes meeting financial goals including saving (13%), paying down debt (8%) and using it for investments (5%).
Of those receiving benefits from the CARES Act, 65% rank being unable to pay for basic necessities as their top concern when the CARES Act expires at the end of July, followed by not being able to save as much (16%) and not being able to pay off debt (11%).
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NextAdvisor commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct the survey. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,440 US adults (aged 18+). Fieldwork was undertaken July 13-15 2020. The survey was carried out online and meets rigorous quality standards. It employed a non probability-based sample using both quotas upfront during collection and then a weighting scheme on the back end designed and proven to provide nationally representative results.
NextAdvisor has partnered with TIME to help consumers secure their financial futures and achieve long-term financial success. NextAdvisor offers expert advice on time-tested strategies, fresh insight on changing market conditions, and analysis of the latest financial tools and resources. Offering relevant tools and product options to help support consumers in identifying next steps in their decision-making process across multiple categories including savings, deposits, loans, and mortgages. For more information, visit www.time.com/nextadvisor and @NextAdvisor.