$300 Comes From Federal Funds $100 To Be Paid By States
The president revealed that $300 of the $400 would be paid with federal money, while states would have to make up the remaining $100.
According to Trumps executive memorandum, the renewal of enhanced unemployment insurance takes effect as of 1 August – with jobseekers able to claim extra benefits retroactively up to that point – and is to last until either Sunday 6 December or when the balance of the Department of Homeland Security’s Disaster Relief Fund falls to $25 billion – whichever happens earlier. According to the memorandum, there is currently about $70 billion in the DRF.
Speaking at his luxury golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Saturday when he unveiled his plans to the media, Trump said of the $400 boost: “So thats generous, but we want to take care of our people. Again, it wasnt their fault, it was Chinas fault.”
The Benefit Will Be $300 For Most Workers Not $400
When Mr. Trump announced the program, known as Lost Wages Assistance, he said it would add $400 to workers weekly unemployment checks.
But unlike the earlier supplement, which was fully funded by the federal government, the program called for states to chip in a quarter of the cost. Governors from both major parties balked at being asked to spend billions of dollars when tax revenues have plunged because of the economic collapse.
So this week the administration offered new guidance: Rather than adding $100 a week on top of existing unemployment benefits, states could count existing benefits toward their share. In other words, unemployed workers would get an extra $300, not $400.
States still have the option of providing an extra $100, but few if any are expected to do so.
Theyre stretched, said Andrew Stettner, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation who has been studying the unemployment system. They dont have money for masks for the teachers in their schools. Theyre probably not going to come up with an extra $100 for everyone on unemployment insurance.
How Long Will It Take
The new federal relief aid rollout must be run separately from state unemployment benefits programs, according to Michele Evermore, senior researcher and policy analyst for the National Employment Law Project. That will take time, she added, since states cant use their current unemployment insurance infrastructure to pay a benefit that isnt authorized by Congress.
The language in Trumps memorandum says these benefits must be paid in conjunction with the state’s unemployment insurance system, which means that states will have to set up a new way to add these payments to existing benefits.
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How Do I Return Unemployment Benefits I Shouldn’t Have Received
If you received unemployment benefits you were not eligible for , we will send you a notice. It is important to repay this benefit overpayment as soon as possible to avoid collection and legal action. After receiving a notice, visit Benefit Overpayment Services to learn how to repay an existing overpayment.
If you want to repay these benefits before receiving a notice, review the following:
- Benefit check not cashed Return the original check to the EDD.
- Benefit check cashed Send a personal check, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to the EDD.
- Debit card If the funds are still on your card, transfer them to your bank account and then repay them by sending a personal check, cashierâs check, or money order made payable to the EDD.
Include a letter with the following information:
- Social Security number or EDD Customer Account Number .
- Week or weeks that the returned payment applies to.
- Reason for returning the benefits.
- Date you returned to work .
- Gross earnings for each week of benefits being returned .
Mail the payment and letter to:
Employment Development Department Overpayment CenterPO Box 66000
My Unemployment Claim Expired Because My Benefit Year Ended What Should I Do
You must reapply for a new claim if you earned enough wages in the last 18 months and are still unemployed or working part time. We will notify you when your new claim is processed. This usually takes two to three weeks.
- If youre unsure if you have enough wages as reported by an employer, log in to UI OnlineSM and select File New Claim. We will do one of the following:
- Immediately tell you that you do not have enough wages to establish a new claim.
- Provide instructions on how to submit a new application.
For more information, refer to the unemployment benefit calculator.
If you served in the military, worked for a federal government agency, or worked in a state outside of California within the last 18 months, you must reapply for a new claim by phone, mail, or fax.
You do not need to reapply if you did not earn enough wages in the last 18 months to establish a new claim, regardless of whether you are on a regular claim, a federal extension, or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance . Continue to certify for benefits, and we will notify you when your benefit weeks are processed.
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Lawmakers Expected To Push For September Extension
Lawmakers, including Sen. Ron Wyden who will write the Senate version of the bill, have already expressed intentions to preserve the six months of extended unemployment benefits until the end of September.
Lawmakers appear to be set with pushing forward a $400 weekly boost, despite previous calls to reinstate CARES Act’s original $600 weekly enhancement a sum intended to help workers recover 100% of wages lost during the pandemic. Biden’s campaign website said he would “work with Congress to extend the boosted unemployment benefits for however long this crisis lasts.”
House Democrats kicked off discussions on the latest proposal Wednesday and are expected to continue through Friday.
Who Qualifies For The Pua Extended Unemployment Benefits
The CARES Act also created Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which was designed to provide benefits to freelancers, gig workers, and others who are working on contract and have lost income as a result of the pandemic. This week, the Labor Department issued new guidance expanding eligibility to collect benefits under the program to also include:
The bill passed by the House would lengthen the duration of the PUA program to up to 74 weeksnearly a year and a halffrom the current 50 weeks. That means someone who began collecting unemployment benefits through the PUA program last spring, and continues to qualify, could continue to do so until the program expires at the end of August.
If the stimulus bill is signed into law before mid-March with the current unemployment relief provisions intact, the millions of Americans who are eligible to collect either PUA or PEUC payments should simply continue to receive those benefits.
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Overview And Implementation Details
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal government acted by passing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. As a result, the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance implemented three new programs: Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation FPUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance , and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation .
The Continuing Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act, effective December 27, 2020, extended benefits under the CARES Act to March 14, 2021, and added a new program, Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 ,signed into law on March 11, 2021, extended benefits under the CARES Act through September 4, 2021, and provided new qualification requirements.
Federal UI benefits, including FPUC, PUA, PEUC, and MEUC ended September 4, 2021. No weeks are payable even if a claimant has a balance or remaining weeks on a claim.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
- Effective 2/2/2020 9/4/2021, PUA provided up to79weeks of benefits to individuals who were self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits under state or federal law or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation . Coverage includes individuals who have exhausted all rights to regular UC or extended benefits under state or federal law or PEUC and who are affected by COVID-19.
- For more information on PUA visit www.mass.gov/PUA
The Money Wont Last Long
The program is retroactive to Aug. 1, meaning that workers should eventually receive payments for all of August.
But Mr. Trumps executive action caps spending on the program at $44 billion, enough to cover five or six weeks of benefits, assuming all states sign up. That means the program could end almost as soon as it begins.
It is still possible that Congress could either revive the original unemployment supplement though probably at less than $600 a week or appropriate more money for Mr. Trumps replacement.
But any deal appears far off. Democrats in the House voted in May to extend the $600-a-week enhancement through the end of the year as part of a $3.4 trillion stimulus measure, but Senate Republicans have refused to take up that bill. The $1 trillion proposal unveiled by Republicans last month calls for a supplement averaging $200.
Democrats argue that a legislative solution is the only way to provide workers with certainty.
The Labor Departments new guidance leaves many unanswered questions, said Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, who helped negotiate the original $600 benefit. Workers struggling to pay rent and buy groceries are not going to see benefits they were promised any time soon.
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Some States Dropping Out Of Fpuc
For you to receive FPUC funds, your state or territory had to sign up. According to the DOL, as of April 29, 2020, all 50 states and the District of Columbia were signed up and paying FPUC benefits.
Recently, however, some states, have announced plans to stop providing temporary federal unemployment benefits, including FPUC program funds. These statesâwhich according to Forbes, include North Dakota, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Montanaâsay extra and extended unemployment benefits discourage unemployed workers from returning to the workforce. Observers expect additional states to discontinue extended or expanded benefits.
Some states are reinstating requirements that out-of-work benefits recipients prove they are looking for work, a stipulation most states dropped after the pandemic hit in 2020. Some states and businesses are offering sign-up bonuses to encourage workers to apply for available jobs.
Meanwhile, DOL Secretary, Marty Walsh told the Washington Post that the department had “not seen evidence that enhanced unemployment benefits are keeping people out of the labor force.”
A working research paper by Professor Arindrajit Dube of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, suggests that low unemployment insurance benefits do not increase employment levels more than happens in states with high levels of unemployment insurance benefits.
Cuomo: New York Can’t Pay 25% Of Extra Benefits
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday said his state does not have the funds to kick in such a sum, for example, describing Trump’s executive order as “impossible”.
“What the president has done has made it impossible, impossible on the state,” Cuomo told reporters, per The New York Post. “The concept of saying to states ‘you pay 25% of unemployment insurance’ is just laughable.”
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Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
- Will provide 11 additional weeks of benefits, to a maximum of 24 weeks. The additional 11 weeks will be payable beginning with the benefit week ending January 2, 2021.
- Weekly certifications will continue to be required.
- Individuals can file an initial application for PEUC until March 13, 2021.
- Claimants who are receiving PEUC as of March 13, 2021 and who have remaining benefits may continue to receive PEUC through week ending April 10, 2021, or until their benefits are exhausted, whichever comes first.
That Boost Will Most Likely Last Six Weeks
In his executive memorandum, Trump said that those FEMA funds to cover the $300 benefits for states would expire on December 6, or until the pot of money runs out, whichever happens first.
Yet, unemployment experts estimated that the money wouldnt last more than six weeks, though they also voiced concerns that the first states to apply for LWA would be at the greatest advantage, potentially getting more funds than the states that applied later.
FEMA has since announced new guidelines to prevent that from happening. Under those provisions, approved grant applicants are cleared to receive an initial obligation of three weeks of funding. Most of the time, Americans see that total in one lump-sum check, rather than three individual payments, says Gary Burtless, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who specializes in unemployment insurance .
What happens next depends on the pot of money that remains, with additional disbursements made on a week-by-week basis in order to ensure that other states can get equal access to the pot of money that remains. That continues up for up to three more weeks.
States are supposed to divvy up those extra payments themselves, adding it as whats called a top-up benefit to what individuals on regular state UI programs and the CARES Act-backed Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program receive.
So far, 20 states have depleted those extra funds. Another 18 states are making payments and 11 more are currently pending.
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How Your State Stacks Up
GettySeveral states will begin distributing payments on September 20.
Originally, the CARES Act provided a federal supplement of $600 in extra weekly unemployment benefits to qualified workers after the pandemic started. That amount came on top of state benefits.
The $600 supplement expired in July, but President Donald Trump authorized a new $300-per-week federal payment through a presidential memorandum.
In his press conference on extending the benefits in August, Trump used the $400 figure, not $300, but he also made it clear that the federal government would only pick up 75% of that tab.
You can access a tracker to look up your states information on the extra unemployment benefits here. You can also see a roundup by state here.
States giving people $400 instead of $300 include Kentucky, Montana and West Virginia.
What You Need To Know
Keep in mind that, even if your state is listed as still paying out its benefits, some of those payments might be considered retroactive . Its worth checking in with your individual state to see which weeks that you were unemployed count to receive that extra payment.
This is basically a zombie program at this point, says Michele Evermore, senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project who specializes in UI. Its over, but some states havent even paid it yet.
Americans have faced long waits before receiving these benefits, with states bogged down for weeks, if not more, in processing delays long after their claims have been approved.
While Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Montana and Tennessee were among some of the first states to start paying out those extra benefits, Vermonts roll out has been exceptionally long. The states payments are still pending even though the federal government approved them at the end of August. Blame those delays on states having to set up a brand new system, where they can work with FEMA to disburse out those funds, on top of dealing with an unprecedented number of new claims.
They had to figure out how to attach this to peoples benefits outside of using UI administrative funds. They had to eliminate the people who earned less than the $100 in weekly benefits, Evermore says. This is a FEMA benefit, not a UI benefit, and all of that complication is the reason that states still have technical questions.
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Are Unemployment Benefits Retroactive
Yes. Once their state is set up, people already receiving benefits will see the supplemental aid come through with their regular state payments, retroactive to Aug. 1, the FEMA guidance says. States that began reconfiguring their systems on Aug. 8 could start administering payments by Aug. 29, according to the Department of Labor.
Experts worry about how long it could take. Many states already lacked the technology to deal with the massive wave of layoffs and furloughs in the spring, causing issues for their computer systems.
In Kentucky, Beshear said that those receiving benefits for the weeks of July 26 to Aug. 15 will be eligible to receive the additional $400, but said that people likely won’t start receiving the money until early September.
Unemployment Benefit: How Do I Apply
Based on the advice from the US Department of Labor, to receive unemployment insurance benefits, you are required to file a claim with the unemployment insurance program in the state where you worked. Depending on the state, claims may be filed in person, by telephone, or online. According to their website:
1. You should contact your state’s unemployment insurance program as soon as possible after becoming unemployed.
2. Generally, you should file your claim with the state where you worked. If you worked in a state other than the one where you now live or if you worked in multiple states, the state unemployment insurance agency where you now live can provide information about how to file your claim with other states.
3. When you file a claim, you will be asked for certain information, such as addresses and dates of your former employment. To make sure your claim is not delayed, be sure to give complete and correct information.
4. It generally takes two to three weeks after you file your claim to receive your first benefit check.
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