For the last three months, Kevin, a resident of Throggs Neck in the Bronx who asked his last name not be used, has managed to make rent and stay afloat thanks to the unemployment benefits he and his wife have received since the pandemic forced both of them out of work.

Furloughed from his job as an assistant general manager for a food service company, Kevin also benefited from the extra $600 that he and his wife both receive under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program passed under the CARES Act. Because the total unemployment benefit figure is lower than his take-home pay, Kevin lived frugally, holding off on buying clothes, and leaning more on his bicycle instead of his car for traveling. Still, the program has offered him a reliable safety net.

But come July 31st, the program will expire, and the family's $1,200 weekly federal supplement will be gone. Kevin's wife is returning to work this week, but Kevin is unsure when he'll be able to return. Their bills will keep coming, including the weekly $250 health insurance coverage he'll been forced to pay back to his company.

"So that's going to be nearly $5,000 that I have to put aside and give them back," said Kevin. "I'm earning less with that $600 and now it's going to be a whole lot less going forward."

He added, "I would need more than $600 a week to continue not just with my current livelihood, but to even just survive."

Kevin’a plight could very well play out across the state for the millions of New Yorkers who depend on the federally-funded program. According to the New York State Department of Labor, the state has distributed nearly $25 billion in benefits to 2.9 million unemployed New Yorkers during the pandemic, though it's unclear how many actually received FPUC funds. Beneficiaries can remain on unemployment for 39 weeks as long as they recertify for those benefits each week.

So far, Congress has been deadlocked on extending the benefits, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declaring as far back as May that program will not be included in another potential stimulus bill to help struggling businesses. McConnell argued that such a program de-incentivizes people to return to work. Congress will be in session on July 20th, but plans to wrap up in August.

The FPUC program is similar to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which is available exclusively to those who don't qualify for regular unemployment insurance.

But with the economy slowing down to levels not seen since the Great Depression, many New Yorkers will likely remain out of work beyond the 39 weeks. According to a report from the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School, the city will lose 500,000 jobs by the end of the year.

Even as New Yorkers have benefited from federal help, research from the New York City Independent Budget Office shows there was greater dependency on cash assistance programs: 30,500 New York City residents had applied for cash assistance in May, compared to 7,300 the month before.

"The increased need for cash assistance comes in spite of the temporary expansion through the end of July of eligibility for unemployment assistance," the IBO stated.

Another Bronx resident named Imre said the FPUC funds have helped her significantly pay down her debts. With just over two weeks before the program expires, Imre can only guess how she'll scrape by in the coming months.

"I know what's going on today, but I have no idea what's gonna happen to me tomorrow or my family," said Imre, who worked as an IT assistant before she was furloughed. Her unemployment benefit alone, without the boost, comes out to $280 a week.

Sylvy Fernandez, a Brooklyn resident, has found the program to be a true lifeline. Fernandez, a contract employee in film and television production who's never been unemployed until now, usually settles in other parts of the country for gig work. With no money to move and work in her industry grinding to a halt, she's stuck in New York City for the interim. In the last few months, Fernandez has looked for work beyond her industry, hoping her skill set can be used elsewhere. Until then, her only source of income after July 31st will be her drastically decreased unemployment funds.

"I'm not looking forward to just getting what I would regularly get once [FPUC] goes away at the end of this month," said Fernandez, who used the money for basic necessities. "If I were to do the math, it would cut what I'm getting from unemployment back by more than half."

The state legislature is expected to convene in Albany next week, though there are no indications it will take up a variation of the FPUC program.

Fernandez suspects many New Yorkers may be unaware over FPUC's dissolution. She had never been notified that the program would run out. "My guess is that some people at the end of this month might be surprised to find that second direct deposit isn't hitting."