Federal Policy Created The Cliff Federal Policy Can Fix It
On July 29, the Biden administration called on Congress to extend the eviction moratorium just two days before it expired, which wasnt enough time to prevent the chaos the looming expiration caused.40 While there may not currently be political will to continue pandemic unemployment benefit programs, the pressure may grow as a similar deadline approaches. Congress and the Biden administration should start planning now and consider various options for a temporary renewal of some or all of the pandemic unemployment programs until the end of the year, when a far greater share of workers should be able to find work, vaccinations will have reached their goal in more states, and the impact of the Delta variant will be better understood and the economy will be able to respond accordingly.
Will Unemployment Be Prolonged Again In Some States
No state has decided to continue issuing checks for $ 300 beyond the federal deadline.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told states last month they could allocate $ 350 billion in US bailout funds to continue paying unemployment benefits locally.
Republicans argued that the extension of unemployment assistance was contributing to the current labor shortage across the country.
While the unemployment rate is currently 5.2% well below the record 14.7% at the height of the pandemic amid record layoffs and shelter-in-place orders many have criticized the slowdown in economic recovery.
The US Department of Labor announced that the economy had created 235,000 disappointing jobs in August, well below the 750,000 jobs predicted by economists and expected by the White House.
About two dozenRepublican-led states removed improved unemployment benefits earlier in the summer: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota , Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
The governors of these states claimed that residents did not take the available jobs because they preferred to collect unemployment instead. The federal minimum wage remained at $ 7.25, or about $ 314 per week a few dollars more than unemployed Americans were receiving.
Us Added 943k Jobs In July Topping Expectations Of 845k
But Congress then gridlocked on the benefit and it was allowed to expire in summer 2020 before Trump signed an executive order in August 2020 to create a new $400 weekly supplement with unused funds. At the same time, Trump set up an evictions moratorium, which courts later ruled against, but which Biden partially extended this week despite the protests of landlords.
An approximately $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill thats expected to pass the Senate this weekend does not touch the unemployment benefits, but they might be included in a larger single-party bill that Democrats hope to ram through Congress without Republicans using special budget reconciliation rules.
Psaki on Friday disputed a Congressional Budget Office assessment that the bipartisan bill would add $256 billion to the federal deficit over 10 years. Psaki said the CBO does not count for savings agreed to on a bipartisan basis that includes over $200 billion in lower costs for emergency programs like paid leave over the last year and over $60 billion in higher spectrum revenue from a February auction the positive effects of the economic growth this package will drive.
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Job Growth Slows In August But Unemployment Rate Falls To 52 Percent
Some states dropped out of the federal programs earlier this summer to incentivize workers to find jobs. But an estimated 5.4 million gig workers, contractors, and others not covered by traditional unemployment insurance are no longer covered, and 3.9 million on extended benefits are also out.
Now comes the evidence portion of several theories. Were the extended benefits keeping people from a serious job search, as some economists contend? Did the Covid-19 surge intimidate potential workers from seeking a job? And what jobs will be available in an economy that is still recovering from the pandemic, which saw a number of businesses permanently close and/or reduce work forces to accommodate the new levels of spending by consumers?
Meanwhile, traders will be watching for;new inflation data at the producer level. The Labor Departments Producer Price Index comes out on Friday, updating the state of inflation in the US at the producer level. It will provide a clue as to whether supply chain constraints and materials shortages have continued to push prices higher.
Editorials From Across The Country Call On Congress To Extend Unemployment Insurance
USA Today — Extend unemployment benefits: “The surest way to re-employ people who lost jobs during the worst downturn since the Great Depression is for the economy to regain its feet. One way to make that less likely is to hurt more than a million people who have been struggling to find work. Congress would do well to extend benefits quickly.
New York Times –;No Cheer for the Jobless: “The expiration of the federal benefit program this weekend means that 1.3 million people who had been receiving assistance will be cut off this week.”
Anniston Star Mr. Dickens and the GOP: If Charles Dickens were to be reincarnated and given an iPad to express his freshest thoughts, he could not create more cruel characters than the ones who roam the halls of power in Congress. At the end of this week, long-term benefits for the unemployed will end. A miserly Congress has said, Enough! No more benefits for those Americans struggling to stay afloat.
Kingman Daily Miner — ;With economy still sputtering, it’s time to restore unemployment, for now: “…there’s no excuse for removing a lifeline that’s keeping people from slipping through the cracks.”
Contra Costa Times Congress must extend unemployment benefits: In each of the past three recessions, Congress didn’t cut off extended aid until the long-term unemployment rate dropped to 1.3 percent. Today it’s 2.6 percent, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
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How To Get Fed
We are identifying those who have collected all of their Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation extension benefits. If you are eligible, we will automatically file your FED-ED extension after you collect all PEUC benefits. There is no one-week unpaid waiting period for a FED-ED extension.
After we file your extension, we will mail you a Notice of Determination for Federal-State Extended Duration Benefits within 5-7 days. This notice will include the effective date of the extension, eligibility requirements, and your potential benefit amounts. You will then need to complete the usual bi-weekly certifications to determine eligibility for ongoing payments.
Will Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Be Extended
The March 2020 CARES Act established three new federal unemployment aid programs: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance , which covers those not traditionally eligible for aid, including freelancers and gig workers; Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation , which extends aid to those who’ve exhausted their state’s benefits period, which averages around 26 weeks; and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation , a $600 weekly boost that was reduced to $300 per week to help people recover more of their lost wages.
The March 2021 American Rescue Plan Act extended these benefits to Labor Day. But policy analysts were concerned the date was chosen without consideration to what the state of the virus would be in the U.S. at that time.
Now, “exactly what advocates feared would happen with the last extension to September 6 is now happening,” Jenna Jerry, a senior staff attorney with the National Employment Law Project, tells CNBC Make It. “We knew Covid wouldn’t be over. And it’s not. With the delta variant rising and places going back to having mask mandates, we’re taking steps backwards and ending aid when people continue to need and rely on them.”
The public health crisis could “make people think twice about this cutoff of benefits,” says Andrew Stettner, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation.
However, “people are holding out hope for that extension, but to be honest, there’s not a lot of political momentum behind it right now.”
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Skepticism In The Senate
Once the partisan bill passes the lower chamber, where Democrats only have a three-seat majority, the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill must get through the Senate split 50-50. There, any measure to extend the federal unemployment programs will face stiff opposition in the Democrat caucus. Insider reports that some of members that caucus are skeptical about continuing the enhanced jobless aid.
Senator Joe Manchinhas already said earlier this month that he would not back extending the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation . The economy is stronger now, the job market is stronger. Nine million jobs we can’t fill. We’re coming back, he said. Adding I’m done with extensions. He held up the vote on the American Rescue Plan until it was agreed to shorten the duration of the federal benefits programs by over a month.
Independent Senator Angus King who caucuses with Democrats has also expressed doubts about the programs. “Right now, there’s something like 8 million unemployed people and 10 million open jobs,” he said.
NEW: Millions of Americans face financial cliff as eviction ban, unemployment aid lapse amid Washington inaction. Simply put, the WH can’t reissue moratorium, and neither WH or Congress are going to renew benefit boost
A Compromise On Extending Unemployment Benefits
It appears highly likely that the President and his administration will have to provide some level of support to the millions of unemployed workers given the resurgence of the Coronavirus in several states that has forced extended business closures. As such a Senate proposal by the Democrats called The American Workforce Rescue Act , may provide a party line compromise that the president could get behind, particularly as the presidential election is only a few months away. The AWRA proposal would continue to provide the full $600 extra weekly unemployment payment as long as the states unemployment rate is above 11%. When it drops below 11% , it will start to phase out to $0 until the states unemployment rate drops below 6%. So essentially $100 less for every percentage drop between 11% and 6% of a states unemployment rate.
With the current provisions expiring in a few weeks, I expect that that Congress will eventually craft a bill to extend these UI benefits to the end of 2020 using a hybrid of one of the above proposals which may well also include another 2020 stimulus check to cover those not eligible for unemployment benefits.
The table below shows the impact of losing the extra $600 weekly payment against the maximum weekly benefit amount current paid by state unemployment agencies. As you can see, in several states it is pretty significant and the impact is much, much higher if you are not getting close to the maximum amount in your respective state.
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Who Lost Jobless Benefits Or $300 Bonus Checks
In response to the COVID recession, the federal government made unemployment benefits more generous, longer lasting, and more widely accessible. It did this primarily through three major programs:
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation , which initially provided the jobless with a $600-a-week federal bonus on top of their state-level unemployment benefits. That bonus fell to $300 a week this year. The program was originally intended to keep workers solvent amid the widespread lockdowns of spring 2020. But it later came to function as a temporary solution to the problem of Americas unusually stingy state-level unemployment benefits, which average just $334 a week.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance , which extended unemployment benefits to the self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors, and part-time laborers.
Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation , which extended the total duration of the typical jobless Americans unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 79 weeks.
No worker is an island. When a jobless American loses benefits, he or she is usually not the only one who suffers a loss in purchasing power. As Matt Bruenig notes, survey data suggests that todays unemployed live in households with an average of 3.7 members. If the Century Foundations projections are correct, this means that the number of Americans who are about to see their household income sharply decline is 38.85 million.
Are Unemployment Benefits Ending
Yes, all pandemic unemployment benefits ended Monday on Labor Day, with no grace period to file beyond this date. Payments will be made through the week ending on Friday. At that point, many unemployed Americans will;see their benefits cut by $300 a week.;
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government has delivered more than $800 billion in unemployment benefits.
Unemployment checks, originally $600 and then lowered to $300, were enacted last year under the CARES Act by former President Donald Trump. For the first time, independent contractors and gig workers who had lost income due to the economic downturn received unemployment known as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
The government also continued to boost unemployment through the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation;in states with reduced unemployment insurance, paying on average an additional $334.
In many cases, jobless Americans could collect both.;
Through the American Rescue Plan passed in March, President Joe Biden extended all of these programs, including the maximum duration from 24 to 53 weeks. In states with high unemployment, people could receive up to 86 weeks of benefits.;
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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.
Some States Are Waiting For More Guidance Which Just Came
None of the states that Insider heard from committed to extending unemployment benefits but several said they were awaiting more guidance on how to potentially distribute their stimulus benefits to jobless workers.
“Leading up to the expiration of this temporary unemployment insurance, the Administration will continue to review guidance from the Treasury Department and consider all possible options and resources, including the use of ARPA and other funds, to continue supporting Rhode Islanders and small businesses,” a spokesperson for Rhode Island’s governor said in a statement to Insider.
California responded similarly, saying that they “are reviewing the letter from Treasury Secretary Yellen and Labor Secretary Walsh to Congress and look forward to examining any additional legal guidance to states from U.S. Department of Labor.” California has also proactively announced rent, food, and housing assistance to help unemployed workers who were cut off, which have been bolstered by stimulus funds.;
Arindrajit Dube, an economics professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst and a leading scholar on unemployment benefits and the minimum wage, wrote in an email to Insider that states should take advantage of those stimulus funds to aid workers.
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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:
How To Collect Extended Unemployment Benefits
How you will collect extended benefits will vary based on your state. In some states, you wont need to do anything. You will automatically be paid for the additional weeks. In others, you may need to apply.
- If you are currently collecting unemployment benefits:Benefits are provided through the state unemployment offices, and information on eligibility will be posted online. If you are eligible, you will be advised on how to collect when your regular unemployment benefits end.;
- If you have exhausted unemployment benefits:Long-term unemployed workers who have already exhausted state unemployment benefits may also be eligible for additional weeks of benefits. Check with your state unemployment website for eligibility criteria in your location.
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