A survey of individuals from across the United States has revealed the lengths that people have gone to in order to make ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic, which offers a glimpse into how the country is managing its finances and illustrates the full impact of the pandemic, especially on those who do not make a lot of money.
The survey, which was conducted by Prosperity Now, a research and policy organization, and sponsored by H&R Block, revealed that about 40% of the public indicated they are either “somewhat” or “much” financially worse off because of the pandemic. Only 3% of respondents said the impact of the pandemic had made their financial situations much better off.
In order to help manage their financial situations, 24% of the survey’s participants said they have skipped paying a bill or paid a bill late, 17% have skipped essential medical care, dental care, or prescriptions, 17% cold not afford the food needed for their household, 10% did not pay the full amount of their mortgage or rent, and 10% have borrowed from a payday lender, title lender, or pawn shop.
The economic stimulus checks that many individuals received under the CARES Act have had the biggest impact on helping people navigate the COVID-19 crisis, according to the survey. More than 60% of respondents have used their stimulus checks to help make ends meet.
“As vital support from the CARES Act expire or have been used up, and without further expansive government intervention, the groups that are already struggling will most likely continue to bear the brunt of this unprecedented health and financial crisis,” the authors of the report predicted.
While 21% of respondents said they have skipped bill payments, what is interesting is that 65% of the survey’s respondents have not tried that yet.