It Could Take Months For Payments To Reach Most Americans
FEMA estimated that states could pay out the boosted benefits as early as Aug. 29, but unemployment experts suggest that timeline is unrealistic.
My official guess would be a couple months, Evermore said.
The timeline will vary by state. The foremost factor is when your state applies to FEMA. Again, the deadline is Sept. 10. Beyond that when the funds finally arrive theres still the question of how fast your state can fashion a new payment system. Some states move slower and use older computer systems, while others have modernized systems that allow them to move quicker.
The timeframe also depends on whether your state chooses to boost payments by $300 per week or $400.
The $300 boost is fully funded by the federal government, meaning it would be easier to implement. States choosing the $400 plan must pitch in $100 per week. That process could take even longer. According to the AP report, states like North Carolina that choose the $400 boost may run into additional delays because the funding needed for the $100 portion might require approval by the states legislature.
Taking all that into consideration, FEMAs three-week timeline is awfully ambitious, Evermore said. If you know anything about how UI administration works, it seems impossible.
Adam Hardy is a staff writer at Codetic. He covers the gig economy, entrepreneurship and unique ways to make money. Read his latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter .
How Is That Different From The Cares Acts Ui Program
But read between the lines and that system looks a little different compared with the CARES Act-backed lifeline Americans were used to getting.
The CARES Act reformed the UI system, creating two new separate programs: the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance programs. The former was mainly used to add on an additional 13 weeks of benefits, which individuals could use in combination with their states individual program and its Extended Benefits system. The latter was designed to help individuals typically ineligible for benefits think gig workers and the self-employed get access to a check. Individuals who had exhausted their states original benefits and the PEUC program could also apply.
Top that off with a supplemental $600 Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payment , the new system was completely federally funded.
Thats changing under the executive orders new system, since states are now responsible for covering 25 percent of that weekly check. And experts are warning it might be overly complicated, adding administrative hurdles for states as they transition to the new system. It could mean further delays to individuals checks.
They cant just go in and turn the pump back on again, Evermore says. Theyll have to start up a whole new system.
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Breaking Down The Presidents Unemployment Benefit Memorandum
Trumps executive order intends to bridge that gap, though at a slightly reduced amount. Under the new order, that extra $600 check would be reduced to $400. The presidents order eclipsed what Republicans in Congress had been advocating for: a $200 weekly boost for two months, then an income-based check that would replace up to 70 percent of a persons income though it fell short of Democrats proposals to reinstate the $600 check.
Why Thousands Of People Dont Qualify For The Lwa Payments
The $100 benefit minimum means thousands of people in California, including some of the lowest income earners, along with some mixed-income workers , will not receive the additional $300 per week.
A recent analysis from California Policy Lab estimates 192,000 people receiving unemployment benefits in California will not qualify for the $300 boost. The $100 minimum eligibility requirement is part of President Trumps executive order and California must distribute the funds according to FEMA rules.
The EDD calculates how much a person receives in unemployment insurance benefits based on the base period of their claim. According to an EDD table, a person would need to have earned at least $2,574.01 in a qualifying quarter to receive at least $100 in unemployment benefits from the state.
Many mixed-income workers are getting payments below $100 per week because of a rule that requires EDD to consider W-2 wages before 1099 earnings.
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Will More States Be Forced To Restart Boosted Benefits
There are currently lawsuits pending in Texas, Ohio, and Florida to reinstate boosted unemployment. The fact that Indiana, Maryland, and Arkansas were forced to bring those benefits back doesn’t mean that other states will have the same outcome. But now that there’s a precedent, unemployed workers in those states may be primed for a lifeline, too — at least until early September.
What This Means For Americans And The Economy
All of this comes at a dire time for Americans, who are facing the worst economic downturn in a lifetime. Nearly half of U.S. households have seen their incomes shrink during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a .
Consider reaching out to any lenders and financial institutions that you regularly pay a bill to, to see if they can create some kind of forbearance program or relaxed payment schedule to help you out.
A $400 boost could strike a balance, being more economically viable than the floated $200 boost but still low enough to ease lawmakers worries that its deterring people from working, says Julia Pollak, labor economist at ZipRecruiter. She cites National Bureau of Economic Research data showing that 45 percent of UI recipients will receive more than they earned with the $400 payment, compared with 68 percent when it comes to the $600 payment.
It really is important that people start searching, that they dont delay the return to work, especially in cases when there are safe, socially-distant options available to them, she says, citing that delaying work can lead to lower reemployment earnings. But if people cant afford paying their rent or mortgage payments, we could be in a whole different world of misery and have a Great Recession overlaced with a COVID-19 recession. That would make the recovery much harder.
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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.
When And How Will The Lwa Payments Arrive
EDD will start issuing the LWA payments in two phases starting on September 7. People in phase one include people who have already informed EDD that they are unemployed due to pandemic disruptions.
Phase one includes about 3.1 million people. EDD said it will take a couple of weeks to get all of the payments out.
For people with an EDD debit card, the LWA payments will arrive in one lump sum payment. So, if you are eligible for the full three weeks of LWA benefits, you will get one $900 payment.
People who receive their benefits via check in the mail will get LWA payments in separate checks.
People in phase two should expect to hear from EDD beginning on September 15. Phase two includes about 1.2 million claimants who have not yet certified that their unemployment is related to the pandemic.
EDD said it will send notifications to people in phase two by email, text message, or mail.
For people in the second phase, EDD recommends they log onto their UI Online account and complete the one-time self-attestation. Self-attestation by paper is also available.
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Overview And Implementation Details
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which extends benefits under the CARES Act, and provides new qualification requirements,;was signed into law on March 11, 2021.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
- As of January 6, 2021, DUA has implemented FPUC for UI claimants. The additional $300 was added to weekly benefit payments for the week ending January 2, 2021.
- PUA claimants will receive their FPUC payments beginning Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.
- These additional benefits will continue until the week ending on September 4, 2021.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
- DUA has implemented the extended PUA program and benefits are available until the week ending September 4, 2021.
- PUA claimants may now receive up to 79 weeks of benefits.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
- The extended PEUC program has now been implemented in UI Online. Claimants may now receive up to 53 weeks of PEUC in total.
- Claimants need to request PEUC benefit weeks through UI Online.
- The PEUC program will conclude the week ending September 4, 2021.;
- Extended Benefits will remain active due to continued federal funding until conditions for the 13-week entitlement trigger off. Eligible claimants are receiving their weekly benefits.
- Claimants who exhaust EB need just continue certifying for benefits and will automatically transition on to PEUC 1.1.
Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation
Whats Next For Unemployment Benefits
As unemployment benefits are distributed in some states, and running out in others, distressed Americans and state budgets are exhausting their options.
And as the 2020 presidential election comes to an end, congressional lawmakers are resuming conversations to pass a second stimulus package, with extended unemployment benefits as pandemic related unemployment programs are set to expire at years end.
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Could Pandemic Benefits Be Reinstated
As the federal expiration deadline approached, White House officials made it clear they were not planning to continue the enhanced jobless benefits past Labor Day, saying they were intended to be temporary. When multiple states pulled out of pandemic-era unemployment programs prematurely during the summer,;Labor Department officials;had said their hands were tied and they couldn’t counter decisions by governors.;
On Sept. 15, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced that she would be introducing a bill to retroactively extend enhanced jobless benefits until February 2022. Saying she’s not sure of the prospects of the legislation being passed, Ocasio-Cortez noted that she “could not allow this to happen without at least trying.” The following day, she and 12 other Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to the House leadership urging them to include an expansion of unemployment aid in the $3.5 trillion budget package known as the Build Back Better Act.;
It’s not clear at this time which states will choose to use any leftover pandemic funds to continue jobless benefits. According to a;CBS News report, not every state has shut the door to continuing some benefits, with some local officials reviewing options for providing assistance after the Labor Day expiration.;
What About The Second Stimulus Bill
A second stimulus bill isnt off the table. Like the CARES Act, this next stimulus bill will be expansive, and is expected to include another stimulus check and several other relief measures for businesses and workers.
But a congressional agreement on extra unemployment benefits wont happen until after Labor Day, when lawmakers return to the Capitol from their recess.
The presidents executive orders may have bought them some negotiating time. But with limited funding for tens of millions of jobless Americans, they may again be thrust into a race against the clock.
Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He covers the gig economy, entrepreneurship and unique ways to make money. Read his latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter .
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website that empowers millions of readers nationwide to make smart decisions with their money through actionable and inspirational advice, and resources about how to make, save and manage money.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
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$600 Unemployment Boost To Start Next Week As Labor Department Extends Phone Line Hours
This story will be updated. Mainers collecting unemployment benefits are expected to see the additional $600 provided for in the most recent federal stimulus package by next week. The Maine Department of Labor also said Tuesday it will extend the time during which those filing for unemployment can reach Department of Labor employees on the phone this week.
Alert: Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Processing Begins Tonight
Payments;for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ;will start;Jan. 14, 2021. The;program adds an additional $300 each week you receive unemployment benefits for up to 11 weeks. If you chose to have federal tax withheld,;your;payment will be a little lower.;
The;payment covers weeks ending Jan 2 and Jan. 9, if you were eligible to receive benefits for those weeks. If your;claim is still being processed for these weeks, FPUC will be paid when we determine you are eligible to receive unemployment for those weeks. Future payments will be included with your normal unemployment benefits, until the program ends the week ending March 13.;
Please remember, it may take 2-3 business days for your bank to process these funds and add them in your account.;
To see;this;payment in;eServices:;
See COVID-19 frequently asked questions for more information.
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Is What I See In The Calculator The Exact Amount Ill Receive
No. This calculator shows the average weekly unemployment payment in your state, plus the boost provided by the American Rescue Plan Act. You may qualify for more or less than that amount. Refer to your states unemployment website to learn more about whether you qualify and how much you might receive. This calculator should be used as an estimation tool only.
A Backdrop Of Geographic And Racial Barriers To Benefit Access
The on-again, off-again nature of UI benefits during the pandemic is exacerbating economic instability resulting from the geographic differences in unemployment and racial barriers workers face in accessing benefits. States use pandemic unemployment programs at different rates, as shown by Map 2, which displays the number of workers relying on pandemic aid as a share of the state workforce. The usage of pandemic benefits is greatest in states such as New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, California, and Oregon, which each have more than 9 percent of the workforce receiving benefits; these states have both a high unemployment rate and traditionally rank among the top states in the share of workers collecting jobless benefits. In contrast, benefit penetration is lowest among Southeastern and Southwestern states, whichnot coincidentally given the value that public policy places on workers of coloralso consistently have among the largest share of Black and Latinx workers, including Mississippi, where 69 percent of the claimant population is Black and only 3.2 percent of the workforce will be receiving pandemic unemployment aid in March, and Arizona, where 33 percent of the claimant population is Latinx and only 3.48 percent of the workforce will be able to gain pandemic aid.23 Along these lines, a recent survey of workers during the pandemic found that 34 percent of Black workers and 26 percent of Latinx workers were denied benefits, compared to 14 percent of white applicants.24