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Financially Vulnerable Americans Hit Hard During Pandemic

January 25, 2022

A survey by Westat and Stanford University School of Medicine revealed sharp differences in how Americans experienced the COVID-19 pandemic financially as of May 2020. In an article published in open access journal PLOS ONE, Westat authors Carol Bruce, Ph.D., Maeve Gearing, Ph.D., Jill DeMatteis, Ph.D., Kerry Levin, Ph.D., Timothy Mulcahy, M.P.P., Jocelyn Newsome, Ph.D., and Jonathan Wivagg, Ph.D., describe some of the results of their nationally representative survey.

The survey revealed that those who were most financially vulnerable before the pandemic—with lower incomes and less employment, among other characteristics—were more likely to face job and income loss. By contrast, those who were already financially secure were more likely to report that their household finances were not affected by the pandemic or even improved thanks to stimulus money.

“These results have important implications for how the government targets aid during the pandemic,” Westat Senior Study Director Dr. Gearing says. “While the stimulus and other assistance helped many, it wasn’t enough for the most vulnerable.” As the pandemic persists, Westat researchers hope to build on these results to understand how the most vulnerable are coping 2 years in and how other aid might help them cope better.

Read the article: Financial vulnerability and the impact of COVID-19 on American households

Link to previous Westat info on the survey: How Are Americans Coping Financially with COVID-19?

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