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Is the $600 stimulus payment enough for struggling families?

Updated: Dec. 22, 2020 at 5:44 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Congress passed the $900 billion pandemic relief bill that includes a $600 direct payment, money for vaccination distribution, as well as money for small businesses.

Lawmakers also added a $1.4 trillion catch-all spending bill to this vote. However, there was a lot of debate on whether the $600 dollar check is enough.

Like many Americans, Amber Belton struggled during 2020. Belton was in the middle of a divorce and said because of the pandemic everything was more difficult.

“We had to leave with nothing,” she said of leaving her family home.

Belton said her troubled marriage and the pandemic left her unemployed and living in a domestic violence shelter in an undisclosed location.

“I was supposed to start a job today but without a safe place to leave my daughter, I can’t,” Belton explained.

Without family support, she was on her own.

Belton was eligible for the $600 payment for herself and an additional $600 for each of her children as part of the $900 billion federal COVID stimulus bill. But with attorney’s fees mounting, searching for work, childcare, and a safe place to live Belton said the money would not go far.

“I mean, it’s basically already spent,” she sighed.

Belton isn’t alone in the need for help.

Moody’s Analytics reports 12 million renters will owe an average of $5,850 in back rent and utilities by January 2021.

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