March 2020 may well go down in the history books and in the hearts and minds of people across the country and the globe as one of the bleakest and most difficult times of their lives. The outbreak caused by the coronavirus seems to have left no sector of society untouched. In the United States, the trajectory remains unclear as many fear the worst is yet to come. As more and more businesses shut their doors for an indefinite period of time, more and more people find themselves without a job and wondering how they will pay their bills and make ends meet.
According to a report by Yahoo Money, weekly applications for unemployment or lost job benefits jumped a dramatic 33% from the week ending March 7, 2020 to the week ending March 14, 2020. The uncertain duration of how long businesses will be required to stay closed for health and safety reasons only adds to the concerns that these workers face.
Some companies are paying employees for the time being, but it may not be possible for this to continue for the long haul. Workers who do not have employer pay at this time may be particularly vulnerable to falling into serious debt with no path forward to repay that debt.
Adding to worries about job losses is the reality that many people receive health insurance through their jobs. Without jobs, they may be without access to medical care at a time when such care could be more critical than ever. Medical debt is known to be a significant problem for many people already and the current situation may only exacerbate that.