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Lost your job over COVID-19?

Americans are increasingly worried about how they are going to pay their bills as coronavirus forces businesses to close and costs millions of people their jobs.

A record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week. The surge in jobless claims is being fueled by the growing number of companies, including Marriott, Macy’s and GE, that have announced layoffs or furloughs as they try to weather the economic storm caused by the pandemic. 

To help struggling Americans, Congress passed a $2.2 trillion federal relief package last week, including a big boost to unemployment insurance benefits that allow more people to qualify and offers more money for a longer period of time.

But Henry Vitner, who first filed for unemployment insurance in mid-March, says getting that promised financial help hasn’t been easy.   

“It just feels like this system is made not to help people but to get people so frustrated that they just give up,” says Vitner, 23, who put in a jobless claim when business began drying up at the pet sitting shop he works for in San Francisco. 

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