Home Breast Cancer Unemployed from COVID-19, Sacramento diagnosed with breast cancer

Unemployed from COVID-19, Sacramento diagnosed with breast cancer


Amber Marshall, of Sacramento, is wondering how she’ll survive without the extra $600 in unemployment benefits.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After a month of daily radiation for breast cancer, Amber Marshall should be celebrating among family and friends. 

Instead, she is alone in her apartment, trying to stay safe. Marshall lost her job because of the pandemic shortly before she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is now wondering how she is going to survive without the additional $600 in weekly unemployment benefits that stopped last month.

“It’s kind of like every day you wake up and you have absolutely no safety,” Marshall said.

Without the extra unemployment benefits, she will only receive $130 a week in unemployment benefits, which is not enough to cover her rent. 

Because of her breast cancer diagnosis, Marshall is considered high risk, but she’s willing to risk it all for a new job.

“I’ll spend hours looking for work, to find that there isn’t work, and then I think well then maybe I should try looking from home,” Marshall said. “I’ve tried selling things on OfferUp, I’ve tried creating bath bombs. I’m racking my brain to try to find a way to survive and feed myself.”

The CARES Act included an extra $600 each week for most Americans receiving unemployment benefits, on top of what they were getting through their state. But that extra money expired on July 31, 2020.

“It’s maddening, I worry about the state of people’s mental health because this to me is psychological warfare,” Marshall said. “It’s wreaking havoc on our ability to just wake up and live.”


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