Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Programs Have Ended
- The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for those who traditionally did not qualify for regular state benefits, such as self-employed and independent contractors, or exhausted all other benefits
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program that extended regular state benefits
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program , which provided an additional $300 weekly benefit payment.
PUA benefits were available for those claimants who:
- Lost their jobs or self-employment because of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Did not earn enough wages in the 18 months before they applied for benefits to qualify for a regular unemployment benefits claim
- Exhausted their regular unemployment, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation PEUC and State Extended Benefits or did not qualify for these claims
Arkansas Becomes Third State To Restart Boosted Unemployment After Pulling It
by Maurie Backman | Published on July 30, 2021
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A judge has ruled that Arkansas must reinstate boosted benefits after ending them in late June.
When the American Rescue Plan was signed into law back in March, the economy was in poor shape. So it was easy to make the case for pumping stimulus funds into Americans’ bank accounts and increasing unemployment benefits by $300 a week.
That $300 weekly bump was initially set to expire at the beginning of September. But during the spring, 26 states announced they’d be ending that boost ahead of schedule. The reason? Local labor shortages.
Lawmakers in those states were convinced that those extra unemployment benefits were keeping many people out of the workforce, and a lot of businesses were struggling to hire. Since that $300 alone is more than what a full-time minimum wage earner would make, the logic was that pulling that boost would get people back to work.
But some jobless people who lost their $300 weekly boost refused to sit back, do nothing, and struggle. Instead, they sued their states to get that money back.
Maryland and Indiana were both forced to restart boosted benefits after pulling the plug. Now, a judge has ruled that Arkansas must do the same.
$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.”
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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.
Unemployment Extended Benefits Compensation
If you’re eligible for extended unemployment benefits, you will receive the same amount that you received for regular unemployment compensation. The amount of weeks you will receive depends on your state unemployment rate and may vary.
The information contained in this article is not legal advice and is not a substitute for such advice. State and federal laws change frequently, and the information in this article may not reflect your own states laws or the most recent changes to the law.
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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 .
States Took Weeks To Set Up The First Round Of Programs
Many states were overwhelmed by the unprecedented number of people filing for unemployment when the pandemic forced businesses across the country to shut down. Millions of people waited for weeks to start receiving the money. It took some of them months to stand up another program created by Congress that provides benefits to gig workers and the self-employed, who aren’t traditionally eligible.
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When Will The $400 Unemployment Boost Go Into Effect
President Trump signed the executive order extending unemployment benefits on Aug. 8. The order itself says the benefits work retroactively, starting Aug. 1.
When the money will hit your bank account is an entirely different question.
Unemployment benefits experts estimate that it will take state agencies weeks if not months to begin making expanded payments to current unemployment recipients.
States will have to set up a new way to add these payments to existing benefits. As we know, states have been straining under the weight of the surge of applications, said Rebecca Dixon, executive director at the National Unemployment Law Project, in a press release. Setting up a new system entirely will be difficult, if not impossible.
For reference, it took many states several weeks to implement FPUC, the initial $600 boost, which was a much simpler flat-rate provision. The CARES Act passed March 27. Then states awaited guidance from the Department of Labor. The DOL issued instructions on April 6. Florida, for example, didnt start paying out FPUC until April 13 17 days after the law went into effect.
As of now, the DOL has not released instructions to state unemployment agencies. Stay tuned.
How Long Will The Boosted Payments Last
The enhanced payments are authorized between Aug. 1 until Dec. 27. But the available funds are expected to deplete long before the cutoff date.
The $300 federal boost will be funded by a FEMA program, the Disaster Relief Fund. That fund contains roughly $44 billion enough to provide $300 weekly checks for only about five weeks.
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There Is Limited Evidence That Pandemic Ui Is Holding Back Job Creation
Outside of the minimum wage, the employment incentives of unemployment insurance have been one of the most studied issues in microeconomics. Unemployment benefits have a modest impact on the length of unemployment, with recent studies finding very modest elasticities between increases in unemployment benefit rates and the length of time unemployed. This includes a close comparison of neighboring counties in states that had access to ninety-nine weeks of unemployment during the great recession and those that did not. Careful economic research during the pandemic found that major changes in pandemic unemployment compensation, first from $600 to $300 in September, and then from $0 to $300 in January, had little impact either way on job finding rates. In particular, these studies contradict the conventional wisdom that non-college graduates and those getting the biggest boost in UI would be incentivized to stay home from work. For many, the COVID-19 pandemic has represented a uniquely temporary economic downturn. Transitory economic and public health barriers are driving many into unemployment and it is changes in these factors, not UI, that are largely driving the trend. To the extent that there are pockets of worker shortages, such as in the restaurant sector, its good news that employers are being forced to raise wages after months of reduced tips and high risks of infection from COVID-19 drove many away from these jobs.
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 doesnât mean that other states will have the same outcome. But now that thereâs a precedent, unemployed workers in those states may be primed for a lifeline, too â at least until early September.
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You Were Not Eligible If You:
- Were receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits, including benefits from the Paycheck Protection Program . However, if you were being paid for less than your customary work week you might have been eligible for reduced PUA. Any paid leave you received must have met Disaster Unemployment Assistances income restrictions.
- Could telework with pay. However, if you were working fewer hours than you did before the pandemic you might have been eligible for reduced PUA if you met DUAs income restrictions.
- Were an essential worker and continued to work. Quitting work without good cause in an attempt to get PUA benefits is fraud.
- You and your employment were no longer affected by COVID-19.
Six Months Of Extra Benefits
The president-elect would also extend the duration of benefits by about six months, to the end of September instead of mid-March.
That would apply to self-employed, gig and part-time workers collecting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and recipients of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, who exhausted their standard allotment of state benefits.
Those programs lapsed the day after Christmas but were reinstated by the recent relief measure. They support more than 11 million Americans, according to U.S. Labor Department data released Thursday.
In total, more than 18 million people were collecting unemployment benefits at the end of last year.
” means 18 million Americans currently on unemployment benefits while they look for work can count on these checks continuing to be there,” Biden said.
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What Are Extended Unemployment Benefits
If you have exhausted unemployment benefits or are worried about running out of them, there may be extended benefits funded by the federal government that will provide unemployment compensation beyond the maximum number of weeks provided by your state. These benefits are in place during times of high unemployment.
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.
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Which States Ended Unemployment Benefits Early
Following recent job reports that showed a shortage of workers to fill open positions, many Republican led states have now ended federally funded pandemic unemployment programs in order to incentivize workers to return to work. You can see the table below for when states ended one or more of the pandemic unemployment programs early.
The argument is that these generous UI benefits deter lower income workers from returning to work. Opponents argue that the reason people are not going back to work is due to fears around getting COVID and/or child care and schooling restrictions.
You can see more on states that ended the PUA, PEUC and $300 FPUC programs here and a YouTube video I made on this topic. Note that in several states, local claimant/advocacy groups are filing lawsuits against Governors and UI departments to overturn or suspend the early termination of benefits .
|States Ending Unemployment Early|
|$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC|
Can I Get The $400 Payments Retroactively
Yes. The lost wages program is in effect as of Aug. 1. As long as you are filling out your weekly unemployment claims you will be able to collect the enchanted payments for each eligible week while funding lasts.
Did you know: the $600 FPUC payments are also retroactive?
The clock is already ticking as states await DOL guidance and scramble to implement a new payment system. its possible that you will receive a lump sum that includes back pay when your states new system is finally in place.
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Guidance Mitigates Impact Of Trumps Delay In Signing Stimulus Package
Because Trump delayed signing the stimulus bill, there was worry that millions would lose out on a weeks worth of benefits. The extra $300 only applies to benefit weeks after enactment, Michele Evermore, a policy expert at the National Employment Law Project, had explained. If Trump doesnt sign by midnight , then the $300 will only apply to 10 weeks of benefits at most, she told me several days ago.
Luckily, experts, including Evermore, later identified a workaround that permitted the ETA to interpret the language in the new stimulus bill in a more favorable way. This revised interpretation allowed the extra $300 payment to be disbursed for the full 11 weeks. Essentially, the ETA read the new stimulus agreement as an amendment that renewed existing unemployment program agreements with states as opposed to creating new ones. If Labor is able to renew old agreements with a new end date, it would have no effect on this week of benefits, Evermore noted, referring to the week of December 27.
Evermore had cautioned that this interpretation needed to be vetted and approved by the ETA. In its guidance letter, the ETA adopted this position. The Department interprets the Agreement to incorporate amendments to the CARES Act made by the Continued Assistance Act, it wrote in UIPL 09-21. The Department does not view having a new agreement or addendums as necessary in order to implement the statutory changes because amendments are incorporated by reference.
Money For $300 Unemployment Boost To Run Out After 6 Weeks
The federal government says the fund providing a $300 weekly unemployment insurance boost is running out, but all eligible unemployed workers will still get their share
The temporary $300-a-week unemployment insurance boost implemented by President Donald Trump is about to end, with no extension in sight.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday in an email to The Associated Press that it has distributed $30 billion of the $44 billion it had set aside for the benefit. The agency said the fund was enough to cover six weeks of additional jobless aid starting Aug. 1, so unemployed workers won’t receive any more after this week.
FEMA emphasized that all eligible recipients will get the $300 boost to cover six weeks, a period that ended Sept. 5.
Some states had technical obstacles that have delayed the payments, and the federal government is still in the process of approving other states’ plans to distribute the money. Eligible workers who have not yet received the $300-a-week supplement or have received less than six weeks’ worth, will receive payments for their full share, according to FEMA. After that, the fund will be dry.
The program was designed to leave money to deal with natural disasters, such as the wildfires now sweeping the West, even after the unemployment boost was gone.
One of them is Philip Tuley of Clearlake Oaks, California.
Tuley said Trumps order is to blame for the predicament he and other low-wage workers are in.