Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District Department of Employment Services announced a one-time stimulus payment for some of the D.C. residents whose financial situation was most severely affected by the ongoing pandemic. The $1,200 payment will be sent to around 20,000 individuals who were eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and filed on or before Nov. 30. PUA is for those ineligible for traditional unemployment.
“The District is committed to using every resource at our disposal to provide support to residents who have been hardest hit by the pandemic,” said Bowser in a press release. “With federal assistance getting ready to end later this month, and as the public health and economic crises continue, this stimulus payment is one way we can get immediate and much-needed relief to more than 20,000 Washingtonians.”
Since the pandemic began last spring, some 200,000 unemployed individuals have applied for benefits.
“We know a stimulus like this will provide direct assistance to Washingtonians who are struggling to make ends meet,” said DOES Director Unique Morris-Hughes in a press release. “They need help now, and the Bowser Administration is answering the call.”
PUA is for self-employed individuals, independent contractors, gig-economy workers, independent contractors and other types of freelancers.
Also, the application period for D.C.’s Restaurant Bridge Fund opened on Dec. 7 for eligible restaurants and food service establishments. The fund is set to disperse at least 700 grants totaling $35 million. Fifteen percent will be set aside for businesses that are resident-owned businesses, small business enterprises and either 51-percent owned by economically disadvantaged individuals or by a woman or a majority of women. Details are available at coronavirus.dc.gov/bridgefund.
A stimulus package of under $1 trillion is currently being debated on Capitol Hill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) is open to passing it, Fox 5 reported.