Could Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Be Extended Past Labor Day
Having passed the deadline, White House officials and lawmakers have not indicated the expired benefits will continue. Enhanced unemployment insurance programs were always intended to be temporary, and theres been no serious effort to extend the benefits, according to Stettner.
I think Congress just kind of got tired of this issue. Expanding these programs is not cheap, and they want to move on to other things, Stettner says. While theres a chance that Congress authorizes new unemployment benefits in the future, nothing has been announced.
Will The $300 Benefit Be Extended In October
The extension of the benefit will largely depend on the result of the stop-start negotiations on a new coronavirus relief bill. So far both sides have struggled to agree on the cost of a new bill Republicans want to spend $1 billion while Democrats had initially proposed a $3.4 trillion plan but have since come down on that figure.
But one thing both sides do agree on is the need for enhanced unemployment benefits, which have been a feature of every bill put forward by both parties the latest of which will be the Democrats’ $2.4 trillion bill that is currently being worked on and could go to a vote as early as this week. The bill will be a hard-sell to Republicans, whose last targeted $500 billion plan was blocked by Democrats a few weeks ago.
The Democrats latest $2.4 trillion will also reportedly include enhanced unemployment benefits, as well as direct payments, Paycheck Protection Program small-business loan funding and aid to airlines, among other provisions.
After talks between the sides broke down in August, Republican chief negotiator Steve Mnuchin has said that he and his Democratic counterpart, House speaker Nancy Pelosi, have agreed to reopen negotiations. However Pelosi will have her work cut out in getting Republicans to agree to a $2.4 trillion bill considering Mnuchin said earlier this month that the administration would not be willing to approve any plan costing more than $1.5 billion.
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.
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How Far Back Can I Claim The Retroactive Unemployment Benefits
As discussed in this article, the new $300 FPUC payment for 2021 will only beretroactive to the start date of the new program coverage period in the same manner as previous supplementary UI benefit programs. This means that back payments for the new $300 FPUC are not payable retroactively for any week prior to December 27th, 2020 or March 14th , even if you were getting PUA and PEUC for the last several months.
What To Do Now
Keep filing your certifications
- Through Sept. 4, keep filing for weeks that you want to receive benefits. If your normal certification is after Sept. 4, to be paid for that week you need to certify on your regularly scheduled day and time.
Watch for – and respond to – future messages
- If you are affected by the end of the Federal pandemic programs, we will send you information in your MiWAM account or by mail. Respond to any of our requests for information. Even if you have stopped claiming benefits or found a job, we might still need to contact you. If there are additional changes to your account, you’ll receive a notice with information about how you can meet the deadline to protest or make an appeal. Continue to check your account for the next year to assure no new claims have been filed in your name. If you suspect fraud, report the fraud or identity theft through your MiWAM account. Links can be found on the MiWAM homepage. Or you can call the fraud hotline at 866-500-0017.
Don’t throw away your new debit card
How Do The $300 Unemployment Benefits Work
Anyone getting state unemployment has been getting the federal money since the CARES Act passed in March of 2020. But the federal bonus was $600 in that original COVID-19 relief package.
That expired in July of 2020 and was replaced by a $300-a-week federal bonus. President Donald Trump signed a bill in December that extended that program through March 14, 2021.
ARPA essentially picks up where the last bill left off. As with the previous benefits, you must be unemployed because of COVID-19 and, depending on where you live, you may need to complete regular work search requirements to remain eligible.
You need to apply for the extra benefits through your states website. That has proven a challenge in many states where antiquated computer systems were overwhelmed and started wheezing like a 1988 Chrysler LeBaron with 593,842 miles on the odometer.
Those problems have been mostly resolved, though a little patience might still be called for. New applicants will need to provide income and unemployment records.
ARPA allocated $300 billion for unemployment payments, but the Labor Department warned it might take a few weeks for states to tweak their computer systems to account for the extension.
The period between March 14 and Sept. 6 spans 25 weeks. If the payments were to pick up immediately, thats $7,500 extra in federal money for individuals. ARPA also increased the maximum period of benefits from 50 weeks to 79 weeks.
The Extension Of Federal Unemployment Programs
Americans who have exhausted all of their regular state unemployment benefits are eligible for federally funded Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation . Millions more who have lost their jobs and dont qualify for regular state benefits can get federal benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, program. Both were set to expire at the end of last month.
But both programs have been extended under the stimulus deal to March 14or to April 11 for those already receiving PEUC benefits who haven’t yet exhausted their aid. PUA recipients can also now receive a maximum of 50 total weeks of benefits . And recipients of the PEUC program can now receive a maximum of 24 weeks of benefits .
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How Long Will The Extended Federal Unemployment Payments Last
Under the terms of the legislation passed in December, those eligible can get up to 11 payments. While the rollout of payments can vary state to state, all eligible workers will be entitled to the full 11 weeks of extended benefits laid out in the act, regardless of when they get their first payment. Any delayed payments should be paid retroactively to Dec. 27, 2020.
The current program is set to end in mid-March. But President Joseph Biden has proposed a new $1.9 trillion stimulus package, which would further extend federal unemployment benefits. Congress is expected to start discussing the proposed package in the coming days.
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 don’t 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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On Your Side Viewers Question Missing $300 Weekly Federal Unemployment Benefit
BUFFALO, N.Y. Dozens of 2 On Your Side viewers contacted us Monday morning when they noticed their unemployment benefits did not include the extra weekly $300 payment from the federal government.
Our inboxes were flooded with people wondering where the extra $300 was. They got their normal amount from the state, but didn’t get the $300 they have been getting from the federal government.
Fred S. is one of the viewers who emailed. He said, “I have certified for the week ending March 21. I received my regular benefit, but not the $300 extended benefit. Can you tell me when I will receive it?”
And Michael G. said, “So the extra $300 for unemployment didn’t go on our accounts. Do you have any information as to why? Or when that might start up again?”
For answers we went to the New York State Department of Labor. A spokesperson got back to us saying they have been contacting people and posting about this on social media.
The spokesperson said, “As the American Rescue Plan extension kicks in this week, some claimants who certified Sunday may see a one to two day delay in their payment. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments will still be paid THIS week. No delays are anticipated for claimants who certify on Monday or later this week.”
How Long Will The $300 Unemployment Benefits Last
The $300 federal benefits will continue through Sept. 6, 2021. Though the way Congress is printing money for COVID-19 relief, another extension is not out of the question.
Ironically, Sept. 6 is Labor Day. Eighteen months after COVID-19 started wreaking havoc on the U.S. labor force, will it be time to get back to work?
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Which Unemployment Programs Ended On Labor Day Weekend
Under the CARES Act and American Rescue Plan, unemployment benefits became more generous, easier to access, and longer-lasting to help mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19. These enhanced benefits were provided by three major programs that ended on Sept. 6:
- Pandemic Unemployment Compensation : $300 per week federal supplement that has been paid in addition to full state benefits
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance : Benefits for workers not usually eligible for unemployment insurance, such as self-employed workers, freelancers, and other gig workers
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation : Assistance for those who are still unemployed after exhausting their state benefits in many states, standard unemployment insurance lasts for 26 weeks
The expiration of extra federal benefits largely doesnt affect traditional state unemployment programs. However, after Sept. 6, certain states with higher unemployment rates and smaller benefits may feel the loss of federal benefits more acutely.
Who Qualifies For An Extra Payment
The first thing youll need to determine is whether you even qualify for a payment. Youll have to currently be unemployed and receiving benefits to get the $300 payment automatically issued. But if you were unemployed between March 29, 2020, to March 13, 2021, and your benefits ran out, you may still qualify for unemployment compensation through the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation .
If you havent applied for unemployment already, youll need to do so as soon as possible to be eligible for the extra payment. You dont have to be unemployed due to COVID, but you do have to meet your states eligibility criteria for unemployment payments. If you qualify for unemployment in your state, youll qualify for any extra payments being issued.
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Approved Weeks Of The Program
Applications approved: weeks ending Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and Sept. 5, 2020.
If you were eligible for any of the approved weeks, you will receive the extra $300 retroactively for those weeks.
Washington state applied and was approved for all weeks available from the federal government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is not funding any weeks beyond the week ending Sept. 5, 2020.
S To Getting Lwa Payments Without An Eservices Account
If you applied for unemployment benefits and submit your weekly claims by phone instead of online, the three steps are the same, but we will communicate with you differently.
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Lost Wages Assistance Program
Lost Wages Assistance is a federal program that adds $300 for each week the program remains federally funded.If you received unemployment benefits for the approved weeks and you were unemployed or working fewer hours due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, you may be eligible for these benefits.
The LWA program is funded only for the approved weeks listed below. Washington was approved for the maximum number of weeks available.
- We process payments weekly. We will pay you for all weeks listed below that are in Paid status. If your status for a week is not yet Paid, we will issue a payment the next time we process payments if the week changes to Paid status.
- We issue payments by direct deposit or debit card. The money will come in a deposit separate from your normal weekly payment.
- See more in the LWA payments section below.
Why Did Benefits End Early In So Many States
Citing labor shortages in the spring, 26 state governors claimed pandemic-related unemployment benefits were producing limited incentives for workers to take jobs. Many economists and analysts disagreed, highlighting several factors that prevented people from finding suitable work, including low wages, lack of health care, inadequate child care and fear of contracting COVID-19.
With unemployment claims still fluctuating as the economy struggles to return to pre-pandemic “normalcy,” reports are showing that the early cancellation of the federal programs had little impact on labor markets. A recent JP Morgan Chase Institute study confirmed that states that ended supplemental unemployment insurance programs during the summer saw a limited impact on job growth.
According to an August report by the Century Foundation’s Andrew Stettner, “Politics, not economics, drove the attack on unemployment insurance.” The states that cut off the enhanced benefits before the federal expiration were mostly Republican-led.
Arkansas, Indiana and Maryland were slated to cut off benefits early, but successful lawsuits forced those states to preserve the federal coverage, at least temporarily. In issuing their rulings, judges noted that the ending of benefits made it harder for the unemployed to afford basic needs. Lawsuits were also filed against state governors elsewhere, which were either denied by judges or are still held up in the courts.
Fpuc Authorization And Funding History
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 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 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.
Most recently, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which became law March 11, 2021, extended FPUC payments through Sept. 6, 2021. ARPA also provides a waiver of federal income taxes on the first $10, 200 in unemployment benefits received in 2020.
If the state where you worked before becoming unemployed drops out of FPUC, you are not eligible for FPUC program benefits.