She waited half a year for her unemployment benefits. What that delay cost her

In mid-September, the envelope lastly arrived.

As Erin Madden opened it and pulled out the debit card along with her unemployment advantages on it, all she might take into consideration was the half a 12 months she’d waited for this second. She had come to really feel it could by no means occur.

“I almost didn’t believe that it had finally arrived,” Madden, 28, mentioned.

However there was the cardboard, which might quickly have greater than $16,000 on it.

Erin Madden waited practically seven months for her unemployment advantages.

Supply: Erin Madden

Deeper in debt

Erin Madden: “It’s been four months of this and I have no idea when it’s going to end.”

Supply: Erin Madden

Previous to the pandemic, Madden had round $6,500 in bank card debt.

She hoped to repay that steadiness by the summer time along with her earnings from the bar however when her paychecks stopped, and unemployment checks did not substitute them, she had to make use of her card to cowl her fundamental necessities, inflicting her debt to balloon to greater than $10,000. The rate of interest on her bank card is 22%.

Consequently, though she paid off her steadiness when her jobless advantages arrived, she was nonetheless dinged $680 in curiosity in the course of the delay.

Inadequate fund charges

Behind on lease

Madden’s month-to-month lease for her studio condo in Los Angeles is round $1,300.

With out unemployment advantages, she fell behind and finally owed her landlord practically $4,000.

“My landlord would text me and ask, ‘So you can’t pay rent? When are you going to be able to pay it?'” she mentioned. “I didn’t have an answer.”

She feared she’d be pressured to depart her condo, “and suddenly have an eviction on my rental history, which would make it difficult to secure housing in the future. A lot of leasing companies won’t lease to people with evictions on their record.”

Compelled to borrow cash

She additionally turned to her dad and mom for assist with meals and fuel, which additionally made her uneasy.

“I’m well into adulthood at this point, and have never struggled to support myself until now,” she mentioned.

Well being compromised

Madden was pressured to make some powerful selections in the course of the six months she had no earnings.

Her automotive wanted to be repaired however she did not have the cash to convey it into the mechanic. She might not afford to proceed seeing her therapist and cancelled a number of different physician appointments, pressured in regards to the co-pays.

Earlier this 12 months, Madden was identified with a situation that makes her coronary heart beat abnormally quick. There’s a process for this, known as an ablation, “which effectively cures it,” Madden mentioned, “but with my current health insurance the procedure will still cost me around $1,600 out of pocket.”

She put that off, too.

Sick from stress

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