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Courtesy of @susan_fedynak, from Instagram

Tens of millions of people are suddenly out of work. Your Lyft driver, your hairdresser, your barista, the waiters at your favorite restaurant, and countless others have lost their sources of income because of the COVID-19 crisis. In moments like this, government must act, and it has, at least, taken the first step. In March, Congress created the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program as a part of the CARES Act, which extends benefits to more people than have ever been eligible before, such as gig workers and self-employed people.

The problem is that states are struggling mightily to deliver PUA. People need this help, and they’re increasingly going to need it fast: nearly 70 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, and 45 percent have nothing saved. At present, only a handful of states are accepting applications and processing payouts for PUA. States need to figure this out at a dramatically faster pace than they’ve had to in the past, where policy changes can take years to get translated into a delivery capacity. …

About

Jennifer Pahlka

Committed to government that works for people. Advisor to USDR. Member of the Defense Innovation Board. Past: Code for America, USDS. Mom. Keeper of chickens.

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