The number of American families struggling financially has risen dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic, and with the expanded jobless benefit under the CARES Act set to expire at the end of the month, many fear they will not be able to pay for basic needs, according to a survey by ParentsTogether, a national parent-led organization

The survey of 1,500 parents, conducted at the end of June, found that 70% of respondents said their family is struggling, up from 58% in March and 61% in April. And 74% said they would have trouble paying for food, rent and utilities without the extra $600 weekly benefit.

Under the CARES Act, individuals who are eligible to collect unemployment benefits are entitled to receive the supplemental benefit from April 5 to July 31, in addition to the amount they otherwise would be entitled to receive under state law.

Sixty percent of those polled who believe they should be eligible for unemployment said they have not received any payments.

Many of the respondents (45%) said they are “somewhat” or “very concerned” about losing their home if evictions start up again. And only 56% were able to pay their rent or mortgage without cutting back on other essentials like food and medicine, versus 59% in April.

A temporary rent freeze and eviction moratoriums enacted by many states at the beginning of the pandemic are also nearing expiration.    

And while it appears that many people lost income because their place of work closed or hours were cut, the survey found that half were out of work because they were sick, had to care for kids, or were worried about infecting themselves or someone else. For 44% of parents with children under five years old, the primary reason for lost income was child care, the survey said.

Justin Ruben, co-director of ParentsTogether, said when families struggle, kids pay the price and right now, families are drowning. “Unless Congress acts immediately, things will only get worse as the extra unemployment checks stop, and evictions start. To protect kids, Congress needs to provide ongoing economic relief, a pause in evictions, and solutions to the child-care crisis,” he said.

Ruben added that the reopening of the economy did not help, and his constituents agree. Forty-six percent of the respondents believe it was premature to open many non-essential businesses and places such as parks and beaches, while 36% said the reopenings should have been done more slowly.

Not surprising, 70% of respondents said some events and businesses need to once again be in lockdown, while 15% said businesses should be kept open.

ParentsTogether, which has more than two million members, has been surveying members since Covid-19 began to find out how it is affecting parents and families.