Tampa Bay's unemployed eager for next stimulus payment, bill expected to pass Tuesday

Posted at 5:54 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 17:54:59-05

LAKE WALES, Fla. — A $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill is one step closer to law.

“It really caught me off guard, I did not expect for this to happen to me at all. It was quite shocking actually,” said Kris Boucher from Lake Wales.

Boucher was laid off from her job at Warner University.

“I was laid off because of the budget cuts, because of tuition being down because of COVID,” she said.

She has yet to hear back from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity on the status of her unemployment claim.

“It’s like OK I know these bills are coming up and I got to figure out what I’m going to do,” said Boucher.

It’s a position 10 million unemployed Americans find themselves in. The House plans to pass the amended COVID relief bill Tuesday, with president Joe Biden signing it into law before March 14.

After that, individuals earning less than $75,000 and couples earning less than $150,000 could start seeing $1,400 stimulus payments, hit their bank accounts within days.

“I’m lucky I have a little bit of savings but there are some people that don’t. They live paycheck to paycheck, and they need that money,” Boucher said.

To help speed up the receipt of a third payment, it’s recommended you sign up for direct deposit when you submit your 2020 tax return. Also, if you've moved recently, tell the IRS and USPS.

As for unemployment benefits, if the COVID relief bill is signed by the president in the coming days, the jobless may see little or no break in payments.