Unemployment benefits could be coming to an end the day after Christmas

“It seems like we get one bad news after another; it’s too much,” says Lancaster resident Lupe Chacon.

She is one of 12 million Americans, including 750,000 Californians who could be losing their unemployment benefits on December 26, if the federal government doesn’t act soon. It’s a crushing blow for the mother of two.

Chacon says, “I can’t even explain how I feel right now, I feel empty inside and I don’t know how we’re gonna get by.”  

Two programs under the CARES Act are in jeopardy. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) which helps freelance and contract workers and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) which is a program that has been assisting people who ran out of their initial unemployment benefits.

Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.

California Assemblymember Miguel Santiago says losing those unemployment benefits would be catastrophic and it’s all over petty politics. 

“The fact remains that the federal government has not been able to put together a stimulus package. Here at the state level, we’re gonna be fighting to figure out how we patchwork those unemployment benefits because it’s gonna be critical,” says Santiago. 

Chacon, who had to shut down her business for months because of the pandemic, is counting on the extra help. Her message to congress is simple, "Take the time to listen to what the little people have to say, the taxpayer, maybe if they take the time to see what we’re going through--just help us out."