With Congress deadlocked on what should go in the next relief package, a second stimulus check likely won't go out until mid-to-late September at the earliest... unless you live in Oregon. The state recognized the financial problems its unemployed citizens are struggling with and chose to do something about it. They've implemented a $35 million relief check program that uses funds from the CARES Act, which Congress passed in March, and sees up to 70,000 Oregonians receive $500 each.
The state's House Speaker, Tina Kotek, spoke about the relief checks, saying, "After months of hearing from increasingly desperate Oregonians who were doing everything right and still not getting the unemployment they were owed, we hope this effort offers a streamlined way for some financial relief. The state is stepping up, and I hope Congress will act soon to provide more support that is desperately needed."
State Senate President Peter Courtney addressed the amount of the checks, explaining, "We know $500 isn’t going to solve all of these problems, but if we can help a family buy groceries for the month, pay for child care, or cover an unexpected repair, it’s worth it."
Not everyone will get a check - to be eligible, recipients must be a current resident of Oregon over the age of 18, be able to prove their identity and residency, attest that they are experiencing severe financial hardship, have earned under $4000 a month pre-tax before COVID-19 caused them to lose their income, and have not received all the unemployment payments they are owed.
With 500,000 people having filed for unemployment in the state since the pandemic began, there might be a lot of competition for the checks. This week, lines with more than 100 people in them wrapped around the block at credit unions offering the checks. Many of the locations have now switched to appointments only.
If you're eligible for one of the checks, you can apply for it here: emergencychecks.oregon.gov.
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