When Does The Extra $600 In Unemployment Benefits End
Among many other provisions, the CARES Act, passed in late March, includes an extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits for those who have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. These payments last through July 31, after which unemployment benefits will revert to their normal payment amount, which varies by state.
The July 31 date was an arbitrary pick, says Michele Evermore, senior policy analyst at the left-leaning National Employment Law Project. At the time the CARES Act passed on March 27, the severity of Covid-19 and the damage it would cause throughout the entire economy was not clear, and four months of enhanced benefits seemed sufficient from a public health perspective.
“In late March, we all thought this was going to pass in a few months,” says Evermore. Now, “I really don’t think we’re going to be back to business as usual for a quite while.”
How Does The Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation Work
The mixed earner and unemployment compensation is meant to supplement the incomes of freelancers and gig workers who also happen to rely on traditional W-2 income.
An example of who this applies to would be a freelance photographer who buses tables on the side. Qualified applicants receive an additional $100 along with the standard $300 federal benefit.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation is a supplemental benefit that is paid on top of an individuals weekly benefit amount for state unemployment insurance benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Extended Benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law by the President on March 11, 2021, extends the FPUC program through September 2021.
FPUC provides a $300 per week benefit from Dec. 27, 2020 Sept. 4, 2021.
FPUC provided a $600 per week benefit from March 29 July 25, 2020.
Note: If you do not receive at least $1 in benefits for a week because you earned excessive wages, you will not be eligible to receive FPUC for that week.
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What States Have Been Approved So Far For Federal Unemployment Aid
As of August 19, Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri, Utah, Montana, Oklahoma, Idaho and Maryland had been approved.
The governors of Alabama, Alaska, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia have all indicated they plan to apply for aid, or have submitted applications already. Others are still looking into it.
South Dakota appears to be the first state to say it will not apply for aid. Governor Kristi Noem issued a statement saying, South Dakota is in the fortunate position of not needing to accept it. She noted that the states unemployment rate has been among the lowest in the nation. The state was paying claims to about 15,500 unemployed as of the end of July.
What Happens When Supplemental Benefit Funds Run Out
Some states, like West Virginia, have indicated they have the funds to continue paying supplemental unemployment benefits through the end of the year. Gov. Jim Justice says he set aside $687 million of the States $1.25 billion in CARES Act funds to prepare for a contingency like this.
But most states say they are not financially prepared to provide the bulk of supplemental unemployment benefits.
It is possible that Congress will agree on legislation to extend the federal supplemental benefits further before these payments run out. The House of Representatives and the Senate are officially adjourned until after Labor Day. So lawmakers are not likely to start up negotiations on additional legislation until Sept. 8, which means theyd need to move quickly.
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New Unemployment Programs Under The Cares Act
In addition to the FPUC program, the CARES Act extended unemployment benefits through two other initiatives: the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Here is how they compared:
|Extended benefits to self-employed, freelancers, and independent contractors.|
|Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation||Extended $300 per week benefits for up to 53 weeks until Sept. 6, 2021.*|
*A number of states chose to end their enrollment in these programs early, and all programs ended Sept. 6, 2021. If you have questions, check with your state’s unemployment office to determine the duration of your benefits.
Federal law allows considerable flexibility for states to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits in several COVID-19-related situations. States can, for example, pay benefits when:
- An employer temporarily closes due to COVID-19, preventing employees from going to work.
- A person is quarantined and anticipates going back to work after the quarantine is over.
- A person stops work due to the risk of COVID-19 exposure or infection, to care for a family member, or to homeschool their children.
Under federal law, an employee doesn’t have to quit to receive benefits due to COVID-19.
How Does The New $10200 Tax Waiver Work
A new provision waives federal taxes on the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits you received in 2020. Married couples who file jointly and both collected unemployment insurance benefits in 2020 will have taxes waived on $10,200 per person, or up to $20,400 of UI benefits total.
The waiver applies to individuals and married couples who made less than $150,000 in adjusted gross income in 2020.
States must decide if they will also offer the break on state income taxes. Some like California, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia already exempt taxes on unemployment. Seven states Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming do not levy any state income taxes.
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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.
America Needs To Have A Bigger Conversation About Unemployment Insurance
The anti-poverty response to the pandemic has been really dramatic, unlike anything weve ever done before. Weve done a much better job of ensuring income risk from unemployment, Ganong said. What that will mean down the road especially as benefits are shut off is up in the air. The Labor Department is upping investments in grants to help train some workers, which could help more people find something new. But workers have also found it difficult to decipher whether they need to switch jobs or not.
Apart from what happens in the immediate term, there is one bigger issue in play here: Americas unemployment insurance system needs to be reformed. Its run as a federal-state program that leaves states with a lot of leeway as to how much assistance to provide workers, what parameters to put in place, and how easy or difficult to make accessing benefits. Many Americans saw firsthand when the pandemic hit just how hard the system is to navigate.
Congress has been guessing at how long expanded unemployment insurance will be needed from the outset of the Covid-19 outbreak
There have been some rumblings from progressives about the possibility of pushing for another extension of pandemic unemployment benefits, but many on the Hill believe that at this point, its really a nonstarter. We dont have the votes in the caucus for an extension, one Democratic aide told Vox in an email.
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I Lost My Job And Im Enrolled In College Or Career School
Am I eligible for benefits?
It depends. Eligibility decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. The best thing you can do to find out if youre eligible for benefits is apply.
Returning to work questions
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.
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How Much Will Benefits Be
President Trump signed an executive action Aug. 8 calling for $400 in weekly unemployment benefits to replace the $600 federal supplement that expired in late July. Unlike the $600, which was in addition to any estate unemployment aid, states would be asked to pay a quarter of the $400, or $100. But governors complained it would be difficult to find the extra money during the recession, which has hit their budgets hard.
The Trump administration then backtracked and said workers would get only $300 per week. A state wouldnt have to put in additional funds if it already pays a worker $100 a week in benefits. The Department of Labor has since given guidance that regular state unemployment will qualify as their 25% contribution. But the benefits are contingent on states applying for the aid.
This means that states have two options: Count existing benefits as a match, or kick in an additional $100, experts say. But so far, not many states have chosen the latter.
Treasury Secretary Says New Federal Unemployment Will Be Available From States ‘within The Next Week Or 2’
Trump and the White House press secretary have been vague about the timing.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday said that states will be able to “execute” new weekly federal unemployment benefits of up to $400 within two weeks, after the Trump administration repeatedly declined to offer a timeline for the new benefits announced by President Donald Trump over the weekend, following the collapse of coronavirus relief negotiations with Democrats.
“Within the next week or two, most will be able to execute,” said Mnuchin, who answered the question posed to Trump at his news conference Monday, at the president’s suggestion.
Earlier in the day, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that the benefit would be delivered to Americans “quickly” and “close to immediately,” but did not provide a more specific timetable. On Saturday, Trump said it would be “rapidly distributed.”
Trump took action to create a new federal unemployment benefit over the weekend, redirecting up to $44 billion in disaster relief funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the states to distribute. The federal government is set to contribute $300 a week, with states expected to contribute an additional $100 under the memorandum. The benefit would only be available to workers already collecting at least $100 in other unemployment benefits.
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How To Apply For Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
FPUC was extended by the American Rescue Plan until September 6, 2021. It is no longer possible to apply for FPUC as of September 2021, and the information below is no longer valid if you are seeking unemployment.
To apply for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, you must file a claim for regular benefits with the UI program in the state where you worked. Depending on the state, you can file a claim in person, online, or over the phone most states recommend filing online. When you file a claim, you must provide your Social Security number, contact information, and details about your former employment. To find out the rules in your state, check with your state’s unemployment insurance program.
Under the current FPUC program, states administered an extra $300 weekly payment to eligible people who receive regular unemployment benefits , as well those collecting benefits from the following programs:
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
- Trade Readjustment Allowances
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance
When states provide the extra payment, eligible people will receive retroactive payments. FPUC was extended by the American Rescue Plan to go until Sept. 6, 2021, however, a number of states chose to end their enrollment in the program early. Check with your state’s unemployment office to determine the duration of your benefits.
Why Was My Unemployment Claim Denied
When you submit a claim for unemployment, it is reviewed by the appropriate agency in your state. They will make a determination as to whether or not your claim is valid, entitling you to benefits or not. There are some instances why your claim may be denied.
You quit your job. If you voluntarily make the choice to leave your employer, you will be held accountable as the party at fault for becoming unemployed. In some instances, you may be able to cite a just cause that will allow you to collect unemployment, but those reasons can be difficult to prove.
You were fired. If your actions at your job through misconduct or other job performance issues cause you to be fired, then your unemployment insurance claim will probably be turned down. In some states, you can also be fired for misconduct that takes place outside the workplace as well.
Not looking for work. If you are already receiving benefits and you dont report your job hunting activities in a timely fashion, your benefits may be discontinued.
Receiving severance pay. If youre getting severance pay from your employer, then you are receiving income and this may disqualify you from getting unemployment insurance benefits for the duration that the severance pay is in effect.
If you are denied benefits when you file an unemployment insurance claim, you have the right to appeal the decision. You will be given an opportunity to make your case in an attempt to gain benefits you feel you are entitled to.
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How Much Can Eligible Recipients Expect To Get
Once a state is approved to disperse the supplemental unemployment benefits, the federal government will provide $300 a week for eligible recipients. States have the option to provide an additional $100 per week, but it appears that most will not. Many statesincluding Delaware, New Jersey, Texas, Florida, and New Yorkhave said publicly that they do not have the funds to provide additional supplemental assistance.
But some have said they are in a position to provide an additional $100 so that recipients can receive $400 a week. They include Montana, West Virginia, and New Hampshire. North Carolina said its Division of Employment Security is coordinating with partner agencies on the Lost Wages Assistance Program to look at providing the additional $100 in weekly benefits.
Federal Benefits Ending September 4
Effective September 4, 2021, in accordance with federal law, several federal unemployment benefits offered through the American Rescue Plan Act will expire.Benefits will end for claimants who are currently receiving the following:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
- UA covers individuals who were not eligible for regular UI benefits. This included self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and gig economy workers.
Under federal law, no PUA, PEUC, FPUC, or MEUC payments may be made after the week ending September 4 regardless of the claimants balance at the time of program termination. The amount claimants will receive as part of their weekly unemployment benefits after September 4 will be impacted by these changes from the federal government. The benefit amount in D.C., based on eligibility and wage information submitted to DOES, can range from $50 to $444 per week. Claimants can estimate their weekly benefit amount by visiting DCNetworks.org and clicking Estimate Your Benefits.
Am I Eligible For Regular Unemployment Compensation
Each state sets its own unemployment insurance benefits eligibility guidelines, but you usually qualify if you:
- Are unemployed through no fault of your own. In most states, this means you have to have separated from your last job due to a lack of available work.
- Meet work and wage requirements. You must meet your states requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time referred to as a “base period.”
- Meet any additional state requirements. Find details of your own states program.
What Can The Claimant Do If He Or She Believes A Job Offer Is Not For Suitable Employment
If a state raises an issue of failure to accept suitable employment, the state unemployment insurance agency must provide the claimant with an opportunity to provide his or her side of the story and to rebut any evidence provided to the state before making a final determination.
Most state laws allow for refusal of suitable employment for good cause, which is defined in state law. Criteria for good cause may include, but are not limited to, the degree of risk to an individuals health, safety, and morals the individuals physical fitness, prior training, experience, and earnings the length of unemployment and prospects for securing local work in a customary occupation and the distance of the available work from the individuals residence.
Claimants may file an appeal if they disagree with a states determination regarding suitable work. Please contact your state unemployment insurance agency for additional information.
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