Aoc To Introduce Bill To Extend Pandemic Unemployment Insurance To 2022
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is calling for pandemic-era unemployment insurance programs to be extended until February 2022, she announced during a virtual townhall Tuesday.
The congresswoman said she will introduce a bill to extend federal unemployment programs established under the March 2020 CARES Act, which expired over Labor Day. If passed, the enhanced jobless aid would be retroactive to Sept. 6 and extended until Feb. 1, 2022.
Millions of Americans and their families lost their access to pandemic UI programs this month that provided aid to out-of-work freelancers, gig workers, caregivers and the long-term unemployed. All remaining workers collecting unemployment benefits also lost the $300 weekly booster that was created to supplement low state aid.
“I’ve been very disappointed on both sides of the aisle that we’ve just simply allowed pandemic unemployment assistance to completely lapse, when we are clearly not fully recovered from the consequences of the pandemic,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
While she added she’s not sure of the prospects of the legislation being passed, Ocasio-Cortez said she “simply could not allow this to happen without at least trying” to extend jobless aid.
Several studies have shown jobless benefits have had a minimal impact on hiring, and that concerns over the virus and ongoing child-care challenges remain top issues for workers evaluating their job prospects amid the health crisis.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: 42 Million People
Once Pandemic Unemployment Assistance ends, these individuals many of whom are self-employed or freelancers wont be eligible for any federal or state unemployment insurance. According to the Century Foundation, there are more than 1 million workers in California who will be impacted, and more than 150,000 individuals who will be impacted in each of Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Will Congress Extend Unemployment Benefits
There is no indication that Congress will extend these enhanced unemployment benefits. Why? These unemployment insurance program were always intended to be temporary and tied to the Covid-19 pandemic. Its possible that Congress could authorize new unemployment benefits in the future due to a further resurgence of Covid-19. However, there are no immediate plans to extend relief beyond today. That said, in the American Rescue Plan, Congress authorized $350 billion to the states to provide for unemployment financial relief.
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What To Do If Your Benefits End But You Think They Should Keep Going
If you think the state Department of Labor made a mistake with your claim, you can call its hotline at 888-209-8124, though there may be a long wait time.
You can also contact a legal services provider who can help, or your state representatives who can advocate on your behalf.
You can call Legal Services NYC at 917-661-4500, The Legal Aid Societys access to benefits hotline at 888-663-6880 or the Center for Urban Community Services at 855-932-2827, and you can find your state representatives contact information here.
Why Are These Unemployment Benefits Expiring
In March 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Congress passed temporary enhanced unemployment insurance as part of the Cares Act, the $2.2 trillion stimulus package. In March 2021, Congress extended these unemployment benefits until today as part of the Americans Rescue Plan stimulus package. However, Congress has opted not renew these unemployment benefits any further. This end of unemployment insurances comes at a similar time when other Covid-19 pandemic relief is expiring as well. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court halted the federal eviction moratorium imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , noting it was not authorized by Congress. The end of the eviction moratorium and unemployment benefits also may spell bad news for other federal spending such as wide-scale student loan forgiveness.
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Stay Informed On Your States Unemployment Programs
States will continue to run their traditional unemployment programs with varying rules, weekly benefit amounts, and timelines. Make it a priority to keep track of your benefits and closely monitor your states unemployment site for updates.
If you cant make progress with your state unemployment office, you can try contacting your state representative or senator. Connecting with other unemployed workers in your state, often in the form of Facebook groups, can also be an effective way to stay informed about your state unemployment benefits.
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Like many workers relying on unemployment, Sean is hoping Covid-related unemployment benefits will be extended through the end of the year so he can find some time to devise a plan B, especially given that the delta variant is changing so many businesses plans. But that scenario is extremely unlikely. On Labor Day, expanded unemployment benefits put in place in response to the pandemic are set to expire, and theres virtually no political appetite in Washington to extend them.
The Biden administration has not made it a priority, and outside of Ron Wyden, you havent heard too many people in the Senate be willing to push on that, said Andrew Stettner, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, a liberal think tank. It doesnt seem like right now there would even be 50 votes in the Senate.
That means that the extra $300 per week in federal employment benefits in place since December 2020 will end, as will programs aimed at people who wouldnt normally qualify for unemployment insurance, such as freelancers, gig workers, and the long-term unemployed, which were put in place in the spring of 2020. Stettner estimates 7.5 million workers will lose all their benefits. Those who still qualify will only get what comes from states.
Expanded unemployment programs have helped people avert economic disaster over the past 18 months, and its not clear what damage might be ahead
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Certify For Weekly Benefits
Once you have filed a claim for benefits, you must also claim weekly benefits for each week you are unemployed and meet the eligibility requirements. This is also called certifying for benefits. You can start certifying as soon as you receive a notification from the DOL. During this process, you are confirming that you were unemployed for all or part of the past week and that you met all other conditions of receiving benefits. You may certify online or by telephone.
You will need to certify your benefits every single week, or you will lose them. This means that you need to log into your account and verify that you are still eligible for the benefits each week.
What Could Be Holding Up Your Payments
When youve reached a year on your unemployment claim, some people can just keep recertifying every week on their existing claim while others need to file a new claim. According to the DOL, you should have gotten an email or text message with instructions about what to do, and a DocuSign form to fill out. Thats the first tip.
1. Fill out the DocuSign form.
Whether you need to file a new claim or not, everyone needs to fill out the DocuSign form to continue receiving benefits. This is not the same thing as filing a new claim.
2. Triple check to make sure you dont need to file a new claim.
If you are receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, you can just keep recertifying and dont need to file a new claim. But if you are collecting traditional unemployment insurance , you may need to.
You need to file a new claim if you have made more than 10 times your weekly benefit in total over the last year from an employer.
For example, if your weekly benefit amount is $150, then 10 times that is $1,500. So, if youve gone back to work even temporarily and have made at least $1,500 in total in the span of the year when your claim has been open, then you need to file a new claim when you reach your BYE date. Once again, this means $1,500 in total, not just in one week.
This DOL fact sheet may be helpful.
Important note: New claims can take two to three weeks to process, and your payments may get backed up.
3. Do you need to verify your identity?
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New York Will Lose $2b A Month When Federal Unemployment Benefits End In Sept
Billions of dollars will drop out of the city’s economy beginning in September, as hundreds of thousands of city residents lose their federal unemployment benefits.
For the past 17 months, residents received an average of $3 billion each month in unemployment benefits, according to research from New School economist James Parrott. Currently, unemployed New Yorkers receive a total of $500 million a week or about $2 billion a month.
That will drop to $156 million per month on Sept. 5, when benefits end.
Parrott, director of economic and fiscal policies for the Center for New York City Affairs at the school, said the loss not only threatens individual households where workers are still unemployed but also the citys economy. In July the city’s recovery stalled.
The prospect is pretty daunting, he said. It will be economically painful for multitudes and is certain to crimp consumer spending.
An estimated 750,000 to 800,000 city residents will lose benefits. That is 10% of the 7.5 million workers nationwide in the same boat, according to an estimate by the Century Foundation.
President Joe Biden said last week that states could redirect American Rescue Plan funds to unemployment benefits, but no state officials contacted by Crain’s had responded to an inquiry about whether this was under consideration.
End Of Federal Enhanced Benefits In New York
The PEUC, PUA, MEUC and FPUC programs expired on the week ending September 4, 2021. From September 5th, all federally funded enhanced unemployment benefits, including the extra $300 weekly payment ceased. Only traditional state unemployment benefits will be available, up to a maximum of 26 weeks.
Any active claims, with or without remaining balances, will expire after this date and any weeks after Sep 5th will NOT be paid. The only exception are retroactive benefit payments for validated claims after a successful determination or appeal in line with US DOL guidelines.
While there was a lot of discussion around extending pandemic unemployment benefits by states using already allocated stimulus funding, this was not done. The NY DOL instead is supporting return to work programs.
Some claimants may be eligible for State Extended Benefits , but claimants must have a regular UI claim to continue receiving benefits. Otherwise claimants will need to apply or reapply for UI benefits when they reach the end of their current benefit year . They must also have worked and earned enough qualified wages in the benefit year to qualify. Applicants who received no wages from covered employment during the past five quarters will not be eligible for a new UI claim. Further they must be actively looking for work to keep getting benefits.
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Who Will Be Impacted By These Federal Benefits Ending And How
Gig workers and the self-employed
People receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, will lose their weekly benefits. This is the program created for workers who dont fit within the bounds of traditional unemployment insurance, like gig workers and independent contractors. As of Aug. 7, more than 916,000 New Yorkers were claiming PUA benefits each week, and in the week of Aug. 21, nearly 1,200 people filed new claims for the program.
Workers who have been unemployed for more than six months straight
If your unemployment insurance claim has reached or surpassed the originally allotted 26 weeks, your benefits will end. This is because two federal programs called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC, and Extended Benefits, or EB, will be expiring on Sept. 5. These programs extended the length of time someone could receive unemployment benefits in New York to account for the economic challenges of the pandemic. As of Aug. 7, more than 713,000 people were claiming PEUC benefits, and more than 7,000 people were claiming EB benefits.
Anyone receiving unemployment benefits and getting the extra $300 a week
That weekly boost from the feds will disappear on Sep. 5, too. That means anyone receiving any kind of unemployment benefits will drop back down to their normal payments from the state, which are a maximum $504 a week.
As Many As 800000 New York City Residents Will Lose Unemployment Benefits After Labor Day: Report
As many as 800,000 New York City residents will lose their unemployment benefits after Labor Day, according to a new report.
An estimated 750,000 to 800,000 city residents will stop receiving them after Sept. 6, according to a study released Thursday by The New Schools Center for New York City Affairs.
The abrupt end will hit the city particularly hard, since 10 percent of the estimated 7.5 million workers across the country who will lose all unemployment benefits live in the five boroughs.
New York City residents received a total average of $3.15 billion in unemployment benefits each month from April 2020 through now. That number will plummet to $156 million each month after the Sept. 6 expiration of federal unemployment benefits, the report found.
The loss of benefits also comes at a time when the eviction moratoriums are being lifted.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court knocked down the federal eviction moratorium which was expected by be in place through Oct. 3. The state moratorium, meanwhile, ends in just fours days.
However, tenants who apply to the states Emergency Rental Assistance Program have some protection. Renters who apply will have their eviction case paused until their application is approved or rejected and if they are approved for the program, they cannot be evicted for a year.
The combination of the loss of unemployment benefits and impending evictions is expected to be a big blow for many New Yorkers still recovering from COVID-19.
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People Are Moving And Changing Careers
What the number of federal programs that have provided this unemployment insurance have done is expand the choice set of workers, particularly those of the lower end of the spectrum, they dont have to run an except the first job, thats minimum wage, which involves backbreaking work, for instance, Batabyal said.
President Joe Biden recently announced he doesnt plan to extend the federal benefits any longer. but he encouraged states with high unemployment rates to continue some of the aid with federal stimulus dollars.
With the pandemic and New York having the 4th highest unemployment rate in the country, experts say that may not be a bad idea.
If the Delta variant hasnt peeked and we continue to see this mess for several more monthsthe governor should actually consider something like that using federal stimulus money to help people who are looking for jobs and dont necessarily have to accept the lowest first thing that comes their way, Batabyal said.
As of July, New Yorks unemployment rate stood at 7.6%.
How Do I Know What My Benefits Will Be Come Sept 5
You should go to your Unemployment Insurance dashboard at www.labor.ny.gov to see your effective days remaining for benefits and your benefits types and payments.
You can also call the Department of Labor for claim help at 888-209-8124, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Sarah Taddeo is an enterprise reporter for USA Today Network’s New York State Team. Got a story tip or comment? Contact Sarah at STADDEO@Gannett.com or 258-2774. Follow her on Twitter @Sjtaddeo. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers.Please consider becoming a digital subscriber.
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New Yorkers Just Lost Federal Unemployment Benefits
Many pandemic-era federal programs expired on Sunday, leaving jobless New Yorkers with more modest state unemployment benefits, or no aid at all.
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From the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, New York City has been pummeled economically unlike any other large American city, as a sustained recovery has failed to take root and hundreds of thousands of workers have yet to find full-time jobs.
On Sunday, the city, like other communities nationwide, was hit with another blow: The package of pandemic-related federal unemployment benefits, which has kept families afloat for 17 months, expired.
In short order, roughly $463 million in weekly unemployment assistance for New York City residents is ending, threatening to upend the citys fledgling economic rebound and slashing the only source of income for some to pay rent and buy groceries in a city rife with inequality.
About 10 percent of the citys population, or about 800,000 people, will have federal aid eliminated, though many will continue receiving state benefits.
The benefits were the sole income for the many self-employed workers and contract employees whose jobs are central to the citys economy and vibrancy taxi drivers, artists and hairdressers, among many others and who do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits.
Will New York Unemployment Be Extended Again In 2021 Or End Early
With several states ending federally funded unemployment benefits earlier than planned to encourage workers to return to work, there was a concern this action could spread nationwide. But the good news for unemployed New Yorkers is that most of the states cancelling unemployment benefits are Republican led, which New York is most certainly not.
As a result New York is keeping ALL pandemic unemployment benefits, including the extra $300 weekly payment, until the current program end date which would be the week ending September 4th, 2021 in NY.
However it should be noted that work search requirements are being more rigorously enforced by the NY DOL and there will be a lot more scrutiny of job rejections if not for pandemic or health related reasons. I will post further updates as they come to light and you can stay connected via the options below.
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