80% of Unemployed Americans Not Using COVID-19 Financial Aid
A recent survey by CreditKarma has revealed that the majority of unemployed Americans – 80% of them – are not taking advantage of the available COVID-19 relief options, even though they are aware of the opportunity.
The poll, which surveyed 1,037 adults, explains the reasons for numerous Americans struggling through the pandemic without availing themselves of the much-needed financial aid. There were multiple explanations in the questionnaire for participants to choose from, and they could select more than one.
Sixty-two percent of the respondents said that they knew about this option but were confused about where and how they should apply for it, 7% percent of them noted that the overall process was “too confusing” or expected the waitlist to be too long. Twenty-seven percent believed they wouldn’t qualify, so they didn’t attempt to apply, while 16% were “overwhelmed by information.” Eight percent didn’t want to take the needed funds from someone who might need it more. Only 20% of unemployed Americans who completed the survey applied for, received, and used financial help during the pandemic.
Authors of the survey also pointed out that some of the respondents did not understand that the funds they received throughout the pandemic – such as stimulus checks and boosted unemployment insurance – were part of the federal COVID-19 relief efforts.
Out of people who participated in the survey, 68% said stimulus checks were the most helpful in maintaining financial stability throughout the pandemic. Forty-eight percent thought the same about unemployment benefits, and 28% felt it was the suspension of student loan payments that helped them stay afloat.
It might still not be too late to qualify for assistance. If you haven’t received your stimulus check or filed your taxes yet, you can adjust the tax filings and claim the money as a fully refundable tax credit. If you are a small-business owner, check with your bank whether there are some benefits you could apply for. The best banks for small business offer their own COVID-19 relief options you might be eligible for.