2020.7.23.Advocate Groups Call for Covid Relief

West Virginia advocates call for robust coronavirus relief package

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 7:19 PM EDT
NORTH-CENTRAL, W.Va (WDTV) - Local advocate groups are urging for a more robust federal relief from the next covid-19 response bill.

70,000 filed for unemployment claims earlier this month according to the labor department, West Virginian advocate groups came together to discuss the need for the next relief package for the state.

Lawmakers are negotiating a new round of stimulus payments this week, those 70,000 West Virginians need unemployment benefits. Advocates here in West Virginia are taking a stand.

Car payments, mortgage payments and rent payments all the concerns from West Virginia advocates.

Gary Zuckett from the West Virginia Citizen Action Center hopes the new federal proposal will address the 34% of people who could not afford rent last month according to the grassroots organization.

“We don’t want to see what has been predicted as a 40% increase in homelessness in West Virginia as a result of people not being to afford their rent,” Zuckett said.

West Virginia for Affordable Health Care, West Virginia Association of Social Workers and West Virginia Citizen Action Center all came together today for a strong covid response bill from the senate.

“People don’t put this money in the bank, they don’t stick it under their mattress, they use it for groceries,” Zuckett said

Advocates such as Executive Director of West Virginia for Affordable Health Care Jessica Ice address the concern of whether the covid relief package incentives people not to work.

"People would much rather get back to work and provide for their families, nobody is getting rich off unemployment insurance," Ice said.

The number of families reporting not having enough to eat rose according to West Virginia citizen action center.

CEO of the West Virginia Association of Social Workers, Sam Hickman works with these families everyday.

“I’m a social worker so I am most concerned about the impact of the low-income people, the unemployed, and our most vulnerable, people with disabilities, children and the elderly,” Hickman said.

“Folks do want to work but while they can’t, while that opportunity’s not there, we still have an obligation as a society to protect them,” Ice said.

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia says negotiations on the coronavirus relief package will be done by the end of next week.

To check the status of your $1,200 stimulus check, click here.

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