‘I beg them’: Still-unemployed workers plead for Congress to extend federal $600 benefit

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CNN – Just thinking about the end of July fills Cathy Munzer with terror. That's when the extra $600 in weekly federal unemployment benefits is set to expire, with no sign of agreement in Congress on an extension.

Munzer, a yoga and fitness instructor in New York City, lost her jobs at several sports clubs in mid-March amid the coronavirus pandemic. She depends on the enhanced payment to cover her rent and health insurance and buy food for herself and her daughter, Olivia. The roughly $500 she receives in state benefits isn’t enough, she said.

With no date set for gyms to reopen, Munzer fears she could wind up homeless and be forced to send her 12-year-old to live with her ex-husband. She doesn't think she'll be able to find another job before the $600 federal boost runs out in three weeks and hopes lawmakers take action.

“No one is hiring. They are laying people off,” said Munzer, 53. “I didn’t choose this. I beg them to extend it.”