Layoffs from COVID-19 have impacted millions of Americans. Many businesses have also paused hiring new employees until the economy begins to improve. The individuals who are most impacted by the hiring freeze and layoffs are entry-level and low-wage workers, who represent the majority of the American workforce.
Since these positions often interact with consumers, they were the first to be laid off due to stay at home orders and lockdown. With so many entry-level and low-wage employees being laid off, there are millions of Americans who are in dire need of energy assistance. Until the majority of these workers get their jobs back, low-income and unemployed Texans may be unable to pay their utility bills, which could lead to having their power shut off.
Additionally, another result from the spread of COVID-19 is the number of workers that have been sidelined due to illness. Individuals who contract COVID-19 may take several weeks to a month to recover. This means that these individuals will go without pay during the time they take to recover and the time it takes to get back to work.
State and federal energy assistance programs act as a buffer to help sick Americans get back on their feet and avoid evictions and stoppage of energy services. These options are particularly important in a time when many Americans are facing extraordinary financial circumstances.