Who Is Eligible For The Extra Benefits
Anyone receiving unemployment benefits of at least $100 will receive additional federal aid.
According to the Lost Wages Grant, states must also agree to pay the first $100 per week that each person receives in unemployment benefits.
This means that if you do not currently qualify for at least $100 per week under your state’s benefits policy, you will not be eligible to receive the extra $300 from the federal government.
Cut Unemployment Benefits Will Hit Workers Of Color The Hardest
There are significant racial consequences that will follow the decisions to eliminate federal pandemic benefits. Fifty percent of South Carolina Unemployment Insurance recipients are Black, as are 54 percent of Alabamians on UI and 66 percent of Mississippis claimant population, three times or more than the national average of 18 percent. The employers complaining the most about worker shortages are the ones that have depended on a largely disempowered, non-unionized, Black workforce that make low wages. The cut-offs affecting these states thus will particularly target Black communities that endured near or over 10 percent unemployment rates as recently as the end of September . Federal unemployment programs, like PUA and PUC, were put into place to make up for the economic inequities that high-unemployment communities have faced as a result of state policies . Moreover, Black Americans have been hit the hardest by the pandemic and have special reason to be reticent about returning to work in states that have reopened despite low vaccination rates. The governors who have made the move to cut off benefits have rejected the leveling impact of federal programs, subjecting their most vulnerable populations to greatly increased risk of poverty and COVID-19 infection.
Who Lost Federal Unemployment Benefits On Labor Day
At the very start of the pandemic, the March 2020 CARES Act established temporary federal unemployment aid programs, and the American Rescue Plan in March 2021 extended those benefits to Labor Day. Here’s who was affected by the programs’ expiration, according to a detailed analysis of Labor Department data by the Century Foundation.
More than 3 million additional people lost Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, the weekly bonus — initially $600, then $300 — that helped out-of-work Americans supplement benefits and recover some lost wages. If you’re still eligible to collect state unemployment insurance , you’ll continue to receive some compensation after the cutoff. But the amount will be lower without the weekly $300 bonus.
Some 3.3 million people lost all their Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC, which extended aid to those who had already exhausted their state’s benefits period . This category includes workers who would have no longer been eligible to receive unemployment because they passed their state’s benefit window. The program provided up to 53 weeks of additional aid for those who had exceeded state allowances.
That’s not the full picture of everyone affected by unemployment. Reported jobless rates generally don’t account for those who have left the labor force entirely and are no longer counted as looking for work, such as the long-term unemployed.
Don’t Miss: How Do I Sign Up For Unemployment In Tn
Fact Sheet: Whats At Stake As States Cancel Federal Unemployment Benefits
On May 4, 2021, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte announced that his state was backing out of federal pandemic unemployment benefits, including the $300 per week supplement , Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for gig workers and others not eligible for UI, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation for the long-term unemployed. Governors from South Carolina, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Iowa, Indiana, Idaho, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Wyoming, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and North Dakota quickly followed suit and more could follow. This fact sheet outlines the damage that these governors will inflict upon their most vulnerable populations and their economy by making this rash decision, and the potential harm to the recovery if more of the nations governors were to take a similar step.
What Happened When Some Gop
For most of the last year, expanded federal unemployment benefits helped keep Tammy Foster afloat while she was at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 47-year-old, who lives in Joplin, Missouri, was forced to leave her job as a robotics machine operator for a dairy company after a doctor advised her that it was unsafe for her to work during the pandemic due to complicating medical conditions, like diabetes. While state and federal unemployment assistance did not equal what she had been making at her previous job, which paid $20 an hour, it helped cover rent, food, utilities during the months she was not working.
But when Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced the state would stop providing additional federal unemployment benefits of $300 a week starting on June 12, Foster could no longer afford to stay home to stay safe. She and her husband both found lower-paying jobs at another food-manufacturing company in the area.
Foster had been working for four days when she started feeling ill. On July 6, she tested positive for COVID-19.
The moment I was forced to go back to work, my life was put at risk, said Foster, who had received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine before contracting the coronavirus.
Read Also: Bankofamerica.com/kdol
Did Cutting Funds Get Americans Back To Work
As legal battles over enhanced unemployment benefits continue in states including Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas, economists say its too early to tell whether the GOP argument that ending the payments early will get Americans back to work more quickly and help to fill labor shortages holds up.
The Labor Departments June jobs report found 850,000 new jobs were added largely before federal benefits were cut. That shows steady growth, contrary to claims that enhanced unemployment was keeping people home, said Andrew Stettner, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, a progressive, non-partisan think tank.
The number of unemployment beneficiaries in states that cut the extra $300 a week in federal benefits, according to a June 27 analysis by The Wall Street Journal. However, Stettner noted, unemployment was already on the decline in many of these states anyway, and initial claims have also gone up in some states that discontinued the payments, such as Texas. Looking at the last two weeks of unemployment data, he said, I dont see clear evidence that taking the benefits away is getting people back to work.
A recent study conducted by Indeed found that unemployment benefits were among a number of factors keeping some people from going back to work, but they fell below COVID fears and child care as the most common reasons people gave for putting their job search on the backburner.
How To File For Unemployment Benefits Back Payments
Many of the recent comments in this article reflect the challenges with actually being able to claim unemployment back payments for eligible weeks. In particular getting through a live agent or getting a response from your local state agency has been a challenge which has often meant stress and panic around the status of your unemployment check, and if you will even be getting paid one for current or past weeks.
While it varies by state, the following are the key ways to file and get your retroactive unemployment payments:
- To claim past weeks or correct dates you will generally have to contact your state UI agency and get them to retroactively certify you for past week. Getting an agent is a challenge, so may agencies are offering secure message as a way to lodge your claim. New York is doing this extensively and people have reported this is more effective than trying to get through to someone.
- States like Florida have actually setup dedicated phone lines and options to modify the date of unemployment claims or to certify for past weeks. In California, there is a dedicated site to certify for past weeks to confirm your eligibility .
- Some states like PA are trying to do more of this online through their unemployment portals/dashboards, and actually are recommending claimants experiencing any errors or issues email their state agency. But response times are still expected to be several days.
Also Check: Can You Get Food Stamps On Unemployment
La Palma Volcano Eruption Today: Evacuation Possible Tsunami And Live Updates
With Congress struggling to come to an agreement on a new coronavirus stimulus bill, President Donald Trump decided to take executive action in early August to give struggling Americans a helping hand following the expiration of the $600 enhanced unemployment benefit in late July.
Among a series of executive orders signed by the president was the so-called Lost Wages Assistance program to provide an extra $400 a week in unemployment benefits to eligible out-of-work Americans. Under the LWA, the federal government would cover $300 while the states were expected to cover the remaining $100.
However, most states rejected the option to pay the $100 top-up, meaning most recipients would receive an extra $300 a week, which is significantly less than the $600 payment that had been approved in the CARES Act in March and expired in late July.
The Trump-approved LWA benefits were approved to run for six weeks starting retroactively on 1 August. Arizona was the first state to send out the $300 bonus on 17 August. A total of 49 states have been approved for the LWA, with some states yet to send out the $300-a-week payments while others have already announced the end of the bonus. South Dakota was the only state to choose not to apply for the assistance.
Those states that have not yet distributed the $300 federal benefit should be sending the payments in the coming weeks, either in weekly deposits or in one lump-payment of $1,800.
Why Did Benefits End Early In So Many States
Citing labor shortages in the spring, 26 state governors claimed pandemic-related unemployment benefits were producing limited incentives for workers to take jobs. Many economists and analysts disagreed, highlighting several factors that prevented people from finding suitable work, including low wages, lack of health care, inadequate child care and fear of contracting COVID-19.
With unemployment claims still fluctuating as the economy struggles to return to pre-pandemic “normalcy,” reports are showing that the early cancellation of the federal programs had little impact on labor markets. A recent JP Morgan Chase Institute study confirmed that states that ended supplemental unemployment insurance programs during the summer saw a limited impact on job growth.
According to an August report by the Century Foundation’s Andrew Stettner, “Politics, not economics, drove the attack on unemployment insurance.” The states that cut off the enhanced benefits before the federal expiration were mostly Republican-led.
Arkansas, Indiana and Maryland were slated to cut off benefits early, but successful lawsuits forced those states to preserve the federal coverage, at least temporarily. In issuing their rulings, judges noted that the ending of benefits made it harder for the unemployed to afford basic needs. Lawsuits were also filed against state governors elsewhere, which were either denied by judges or are still held up in the courts.
Recommended Reading: Unemployment Address Change
What Are The $300 Extra Unemployment Benefits
The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced on Friday that more than 40 states would be offering an additional $300 to those receiving unemployment benefits.
The process of payments will begin on Monday, September 7 and it will be additional to the weekly benefits that are already issued to those who are unemployed.
When Will The $300 Unemployment Benefit Start Officials Dont Know
- A $900 billion Covid relief bill offers workers an extra $300 in weekly unemployment benefits.
- It would be available to more than 20 million people collecting benefits.
- State labor officials don’t know when it may arrive. President Donald Trump must first sign the bill into law. He’s threatening not to do so in order to send larger stimulus checks to households.
More than 20 million Americans are eagerly anticipating a $300 boost to their weekly unemployment benefits.
But it’s unclear when exactly that cash will hit workers’ bank accounts.
Labor officials in several states including California, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas and Utah say they need input from the U.S. Department of Labor on how to implement and disburse the payments.
They also need to wait until the federal government issues funds to the states, according to Bill McCamley, cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
“Everyone’s asking for timelines, but we just don’t know right now,” McCamley said. “We need to know exactly what the rules of the game are before we move forward.”
More from Personal Finance:Some might not receive a $600 stimulus check this time around. Here’s why
Some state labor officials are also warning of a gap in benefits for millions of workers in unemployment programs set to expire this weekend.
Read Also: Nc Unemployment Benefits Estimator
How Long Will The Benefits Last
Trump directed the use of funds from FEMAs Disaster Relief Fund, which would be capped at $44 billion, lasting until December. But experts say states will run through the funds quickly.
More than 25 million people had received the $600 weekly bonus. With the enhanced unemployment aid capped at $44 billion, Stettner estimates that the additional aid will last just over a month, or about $10 billion per week, if the same number of people receive the bonus and if every state participates.
States approved for the program are guaranteed three weeks of funding, according to FEMA.
The program will run until Dec. 6, according to Trumps memorandum, or until the $44 billion in FEMA aid runs out. It could also end earlier if the Disaster Relief Fund depletes to $25 billion, or Congress passes new legislation on federal unemployment benefits, whichever happens first. The fund had a balance of $74 billion as of July 31, according to FEMA.
Do I Have To Pay Taxes On Unemployment Compensation
Normally yes. Unemployment benefits are considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service . That means unemployment benefits are always subject to federal taxes, but state taxes on the benefits vary depending on the state where you live.
However, as part of the stimulus package, the federal government is forgiving taxes on up to $10,200 of unemployment benefits earned in 2020 for individuals earning less than $150,000.
If you already filed your 2020 taxes, you dont need to amend your return. The IRS is adjusting qualifying returns automatically in two phases. Nearly three million refunds were sent the week of June 7, and another batch of refunds is expected to be distributed later in June. The IRS will send a mailed letter to anyone whose return has been adjusted.
If you havent yet filed your 2020 tax return, If you filed for benefits in 2020, your state should mail you Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payment, which will include your total unemployment compensation received during the year. Youll use this form to determine how much to adjust your tax return calculations in order to get the tax break.
Don’t Miss: What Ticket Number Is Pa Unemployment On
Dwd Hopes To Start Paying New $300 Unemployment Supplement In ‘next Few Weeks’
- Tuesday, January 5, 2021, 2:30pm
Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development said Monday they aim to start issuing a new $300 unemployment insurance supplement to recipients “within the next few weeks.”
DWD spokesperson Grace Kim said in an email Monday evening that agency officials have several meetings scheduled this week with the U.S. Department of Labor to gather additional information about what is required to implement the latest version of the program, known as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation .
DWD officials hope to begin testing the program this week, Kim said, and begin sending out the supplements within the next few weeks. But Kim cautioned that timeline is subject to change based on new guidance the department could receive from federal officials, and if any technical issues come up when the department is testing the program.
As of midday Tuesday, nine states have started paying out the supplement, according to the online tracker UnemploymentPUA.com. Eight states have started processing payments under the program, according to the tracker.
Michele Evermore, an unemployment insurance expert with the left-leaning National Employment Law Project, said Wisconsin is slightly behind other states in rolling out the program, but not by much.
For many who were relying on unemployment, that set off a grueling, almost three-month-long stretch of only receiving state-level unemployment benefits, which max out at $370 a week in Wisconsin.
What To Do Now
Keep filing your certifications
- Through Sept. 4, keep filing for weeks that you want to receive benefits. If your normal certification is after Sept. 4, to be paid for that week you need to certify on your regularly scheduled day and time.
Watch for – and respond to – future messages
- If you are affected by the end of the Federal pandemic programs, we will send you information in your MiWAM account or by mail. Respond to any of our requests for information. Even if you have stopped claiming benefits or found a job, we might still need to contact you. If there are additional changes to your account, you’ll receive a notice with information about how you can meet the deadline to protest or make an appeal. Continue to check your account for the next year to assure no new claims have been filed in your name. If you suspect fraud, report the fraud or identity theft through your MiWAM account. Links can be found on the MiWAM homepage. Or you can call the fraud hotline at 866-500-0017.
Don’t throw away your new debit card
Also Check: How Do I Sign Up For Unemployment In Tn