Unemployed Nevada residents brace for end of federal COVID-19 relief benefits

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In this March 17, 2020, file photo, people wait in line for help with unemployment benefits at the One-Stop Career Center in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

In this March 17, 2020, file photo, people wait in line for help with unemployment benefits at the One-Stop Career Center in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Unemployed Nevada residents were bracing for the end of some federal coronavirus relief benefits on Saturday.

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance programs were set to expire after President Trump held off on signing a stimulus package presented to him by Congress.

The new package would have extended the benefits for at least 11 more weeks for gig workers, self-employed people and those who have exhausted their regular unemployment claims.

Marianne Leblanc, a Nevada resident who worked in the live events industry, has been out of work since March. Currently, her only income comes from the federal payments. She expressed frustration and anxiety that the benefits have not been renewed.

“To go into a holiday, knowing that there was a deadline and not come up with a resolution … it’s just not right,” Leblanc said.

Tony Gianpetro, a bartender who had worked for MGM for the past 17 years, went on unemployment starting in April. He said he exhausted regular benefits in October and has been on the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation since then. Gianpetro is the father of three children.

“I just believe there’s failures all around you know I’m not going to say or point the finger at this guy or this politician, I think everybody’s to blame,” Gianpetro said. “You know I think we are to blame as well because I think we could’ve whipped this pandemic a long time ago if people would’ve social distanced, would’ve worn their masks.”

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