Lost Wages Assistance Program Update
The OHJFS has now paid out the $300 weekly payment under the LWA program, which provides supplemental payments to eligible unemployment benefits claimants who have been unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. OHJFS had processed the majority of LWA payments, including retroactive funds, to eligible claimants by the end of September . Eligible claimants will have their LWA weekly benefit payment retroactive to the dates they are eligible, for a maximum of 6 weeks.
LWA payment schedule
The ODJFS recently an updated schedule for the $300 payment which will be done in batches based on the type of unemployment people were getting.
Update for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Claimants:
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claimants began receiving retroactive LWA payments the week of September 14, 2020. For PUA claimants, LWA is being distributed in individual $300 payments over a period of six days through September 21, for all weeks they qualify, up to $1,800.
LWA was able to be provided to PUA claimants more quickly because PUA is administered by a newer cloud-based system, which is much less difficult to program than the legacy system used to deliver traditional unemployment benefits.
Update for Traditional UI, Trade, Shared Work Ohio and Extended-Benefit Claimants:
The Looming Question: Whats Next
* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.
* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions
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Biden Arpa Stimulus Bill Extensions
Under President Bidens $1.9 trillion federal coronavirus relief package, known as the American Rescue Plan , enhanced unemployment benefits have been extended until September 6th . This includes further extensions to the PUA program, PEUC program, $300 weekly payment under the FPUC program and $100 Mixed Earners program. There were also provisions in the Biden Stimulus package for Unemployment tax breaks on the first $10,200 of benefits received in 2020.
Will Payments Hurt Businesses Or Help The Unemployed
Several other organizations have weighed in. Ohio Grocers Association, Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association, Ohio Restaurant Association, Ohio Business Roundtable, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce all back DeWine’s position.
It is clear that Ohio businesses and in turn, Ohios economy will suffer unjustifiable harm if the requested injunction is issued,” they wrote in a legal brief.
Arguing on the other side are liberal-leaning think tank Policy Matters Ohio, the American Sustainable Business Council and National Employment Law Project.
They say Ohio businesses have a hiring problem because of poor access to childcare, low wages offered and concerns about the continuing pandemic not because federal officials chipped in an additional $300 a week.
The decision runs counter to the public interest and creates economic harm for thousands of Ohioans,” they wrote, adding that low-income, Black, women and those living in Appalachian Ohio with high unemployment rates would be most hurt.
Jessie Balmert is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Akron Beacon Journal, Cincinnati Enquirer, Columbus Dispatch and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.
Federal Programs That Expanded Unemployment Programs Are Expiring
Federal programs that expanded and extended unemployment benefits are expiring.
The week ending Sept. 4, 2021 is the last payable week of benefits from these programs that were established with the Coronairus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and continued under the American Rescue Plan Act:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: for the self-employed, freelancers, independent contractors and others who dont qualify for regular unemployment benefits.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation : Extends benefits after you run out of regular unemployment benefits.
- Pandemic Unemployment Compensation : The extra $300 a week for all eligible claimants.
- Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation : Provides an additional $100 per week to certain claimants who have earned at least $5,000 in net self-employment income.
If you have eligible weeks prior to Sept. 4:
- If we find that you are eligible, we will continue to process and pay benefits for weeks you claimed through the week ending Sept. 4. Your certification for the week ending Sept. 4 will be due after that date, however, you will still be able to certify for that week on your regularly scheduled certification day and time.
If you are currently receiving PEUC benefits:
- You may be eligible for a regular unemployment claim. Login to your MiWAM account and follow the link under Account Alerts to reopen/file a claim.
If you have a claim pending in adjudication or appeal after Sept. 4:
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Where Is This Money Coming From
Under a previous federal stimulus plan, everyone on unemployment received an extra $600 in benefits a week, but that program expired at the end of July.
After summer negotiations halted in Congress because Democrats and Republicans couldnt agree on a replacement amount, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Aug. 8 allowing states to apply for additional federal funds for certain people out of work due to the pandemic.
At first, Trump said states had to contribute $100 a week to receive $300 from the federal government, but then relaxed those rules after states said they couldnt afford to pitch in a share. New Jersey applied and was approved for the $300 benefits, without paying the $100 contribution.
The money comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which funds emergency responses to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Laura, under the Lost Wages Supplemental Assistance program.
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Its The Latest Step In The Fight Over The Federal Money Issued As Extra Help During The Pandemic
The state has filed an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court in the case over its decision to end the extra $300 a week in additional unemployment benefits in late June.
Attorney General Dave Yost is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to reverse a decision from the 10th District Court of Appeals, which ruled a Franklin County judge must give the case further review.
The state argues that Gov. Mike DeWine had the legal right to stop accepting the federal funds for the program, which he said was important to help unemployed Ohioans during the pandemic last year.
But in ending those checks, DeWine said the COVID-19 vaccine and other protective measures make it safe for people to return to work.
The 10th District held that Gov. DeWine *must* accept supplemental unemployment benefits under the CARES Actfunds that are optional under the terms of the ActThe decision was contrary to lawand businesses cannot find employeees. Today, we appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court
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Are Unemployment Benefits Taxable
Yes and no.
Unemployment benefits are generally taxable. Most states do not withhold taxes from unemployment benefits voluntarily, but you can request they withhold taxes.
But under ARPA, $10,200 of unemployment benefits from 2020 will be tax-free for households with a combined income of less than $150,000 .
That applies to taxpayers filing joint returns, as head of household, or with single status. But the $10,200 exclusion applies separately to each spouse.
If you filed your income taxes before ARPA passed, the Internal Revenue Service will refund any overpayment you may have made related to unemployment benefits.
The IRS says taxpayers will not have to amend their returns or do anything else in order to get the proper adjustment, but stay on top of that. Any refunds should start appearing in May 2021.
Enhanced Unemployment Benefits May End A Bit Earlier Than Expected
- The American Rescue Plan offers federal unemployment benefits until Labor Day, which is on Sept. 6.
- But state administrative rules require the last payable week of benefits to be the one ended Sept. 4 or 5, depending on the state. Recipients may therefore get one fewer week than anticipated.
- More than 11 million people will lose all benefits or get a reduced check each week after early September, per one estimate.
Federal unemployment benefits officially expire on Labor Day but state administrative rules require that aid to end a few days earlier than some workers may anticipate.
All states pay weekly benefits according to a schedule that ends on a Saturday or Sunday. However, the American Rescue Plan offered aid to Sept. 6, which is a Monday. Therefore, the last payable week of benefits will be the one ending Sept. 4 or 5, depending on the state.
Workers may have assumed they’d be able also to collect benefits the week of Sept. 6, given the official Labor Day cutoff.
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Ruling Expected Soon In Suit Over $300 Weekly Unemployment Checks
A Franklin County judge is expected to rule in the coming days on a lawsuit that seeks to restore the $300 weekly checks that the federal government was providing to unemployed people through September. Ohio became one of 26 states that ended the program last month.
Democratic former attorney general Marc Dann filed the lawsuit over the federal pandemic unemployment assistance program, arguing lawmakers didnt give Gov. Mike DeWine the authority to refuse the maximum benefits offered by the feds.
The legislature intentionally withheld that authority because they thought the receipt of unemployment benefits under federal programs was so important that, frankly, they didn’t want to make a political football out of it, which is exactly what this has become,” said Dann.
The 26 states that are ending the FPUC program early are mostly Republican-run states.
Dann compared the FPUC program to tax breaks and other financial assistance to companies, saying as the latter helps spark economic growth, the federal money to jobless workers will go straight into the economy as well.
Dann said more than 200,000 Ohioans could have weekly payments restored if he wins. And he said he’s received phone calls and emails from some of them as he prepared the suit.
DeWine ended the program June 26, pushed by the Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Restaurant Association, who said it was making it hard for businesses to find workers.
How To Get Extra $300 Unemployment Payments
For the most part, it looks like recipients do not need to do anything special to get their extra $300 in unemployment benefits. For example, Minnesota states explicitly: “Applicants do not have to do anything extra to receive LWA payments.”
However, some states are a little vague on the particulars. Below, in our state-by-state guide, we’ve marked as “unclear” the states that have not clearly said on their unemployment website if a recipient needs to do anything in order to receive the extra $300.
Our advice is to read the fine print of your state’s unemployment benefits’ webpage , and follow their instructions, to make sure you are getting the most money possible. If you are already receiving unemployment, you should absolutely continue to do the same paperwork and file claims like usual.
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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.
No Decision On Ohio Lawsuits Over Retroactive $300 Weekly Jobless Checks
Unemployed Ohioans who were hoping lawsuits would bring back the $300 weekly checks that were discontinued this summer will have a bit longer to wait for a resolution to those cases.
Gov. Mike DeWine stopped taking federal money for the program in June, saying the checks were keeping people from returning to work. Former Attorney General .
A Franklin County judge has stayed all cases till the Ohio Supreme Court weighs in, which Dann said means nothing will happen till then.
One way or the other, the Supreme Court is going to rule, and I think we have very strong legal arguments here,” Dann said. “So I’m confident that they will either not take the case or if they take it that they’ll agree with us that the governor had no authority to refuse this money.
Twenty-six states, most of them Republican, ended those checks before the federal program stopped on Labor Day.
Danns lawsuits seek to restore about $900 million, which is about $3,000 per person.
“The federal government is still willing to give us the money, so it wouldn’t cost the state anything for the governor to say, ‘I’ve changed my mind. I want the money,'” Dann said. “And that would pump $900 million into Ohio’s economy almost instantly.”
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Pandemic Hardship Is About To Get A Lot Worse For Millions Of Out
Millions of unemployed Americans lost pandemic-related jobless benefits as of Labor Day just as surging cases of coronavirus slow the pace of hiring.
In all, an estimated 8.8 million people stopped receiving unemployment insurance beginning on Sept. 6, 2021. Millions more will no longer get the extra US$300 a week the federal government has been providing to supplement state benefits.
But with the pandemic still raging thanks to the rise of the delta variant, particularly in Southern states, the expiration of these benefits seems ill-timed. While some claim that the aid is no longer needed and doing more harm than good, webelieve that the data tell another story.
Three federal programs created to support workers hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns expired on Sept. 6:
All told, the end of these programs may affect 35 million people when you include families of the unemployed.
Dropping aid didnt boost jobs growth
Critics of these federal supplemental benefits claim they reward Americans for not working by offering more in aid than theyd get from a job. This is why many Republican governors opted to drop out of one or more of the federal programs in recent months.
We see Help Wanted signs everywhere, Idaho Republican Gov. Brad Little said on May 11, 2021. We do not want people on unemployment. We want people working.
Jobless Americans still need support
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“The federal government does not allow benefit payments to be made for weeks of unemployment after Sept, 4, even if you have a balance left on your claim at that time,”according to California’s Employment Development Department.
The so-called benefits cliff will impact more than 11 million people who are poised to lose aid entirely or see a smaller check each week, according to estimates from the Century Foundation.
Federal lawmakers passed legislation twice in the past year to avert a benefits cliff, so another extension seems unlikely.
“I don’t think there’s any appetite for that,” Urban Institute labor economist Wayne Vroman said. “I think given the strength of the recovery and the labor market recovery, there’s basically no possibility of that happening.”
If Congress doesn’t act, federal benefits will cease for the self-employed, gig workers, long-term unemployed and others typically ineligible for state benefits. A $300 weekly benefit supplement will also end.
Twenty-six states ended federal benefits in June or July, well before their Labor Day cutoff.
The state governors, primarily Republican, cited labor shortages, claiming enhanced benefits were keeping people from looking for work. Research published in recent weeks suggests benefits played a muted role in any lack of workers, however.
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History Of Fpuc Authorization And Funding
As noted, additional unemployment benefits of $600 per week were originally authorized by the CARES Act through July 31, 2021. This was followed by the Lost Wages Assistance program, authorized by an Aug. 8, 2020, presidential memo and subsequent Department of Labor guidance.
LWA funds, which were expected to last from Aug. 1, 2020, to Dec. 27, 2020, were depleted by Sept. 5, 2020. The signing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 into law on Dec. 27, 2020, restarted the FPUC program and authorized $300 FPUC payments beginning after Dec. 26, 2020, and ending on or before March 14, 2021.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which became law March 11, 2021, extended FPUC payments through Sept. 6, 2021. ARPA also provided a waiver of federal income taxes on the first $10, 200 in unemployment benefits received in 2020.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, regular unemployment benefits replace about 38% of a worker’s wages, on average.
Is $300 Extra Per Week In Unemployment Benefits Actually Stopping Anyone In Minnesota From Taking A Job
You know were going to say: Its complicated.
As more Minnesotans are vaccinated against COVID-19, the features of a post-pandemic world are emerging: maskless faces, hugs and Now Hiring signs on storefronts and businesses. It seems everyones hiring, from restaurants to big box stores to bars, and many of them are struggling to find enough workers to fill their open positions.
At the same time, there are a lot of people still out of work. And workers who are on unemployment are receiving an extra $300 per week through the federal American Rescue Plan passed earlier this year.
Lots of people pundits, employers, politicians are sure that those extra unemployment benefits are a problem, incentivizing workers to stay home instead of looking for work. In fact, 25 states including Montana, Florida, Arizona and Ohio, are ending the weekly supplemental benefit early in an effort to push unemployed workers into jobs.
But is a $300 weekly benefits bump really enough to keep unemployed workers from taking jobs?
Unemployment in Minnesota hit 4.1 percent in April just a bit higher than the low unemployment before the pandemic and the lowest its been since the pandemic began in March of 2020.
Throughout the pandemic, a historically high number of people were unemployed. Because of the crisis this posed to the economy, the federal government added supplementary unemployment payments to the usual amounts people were eligible for.
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