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Are $ 300 Weekly Unemployment Checks On The Chopping Block Or Here To Stay?



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There may be more weekly unemployment relief soon.

Angela Lang / CNET

If it negotiations for more economic aid cannot find common ground and Congress fails another incentive bill soon, federal unemployment benefits expire on December 26. Today’s main proposal, worth $ 908 billion, would it $ 300 additional weekly unemployment benefit Support local and state governments for four months to help pay for services such as firefighters, fund the Paycheck Protection Program, and help pay for the development and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“It must be done before they go home”, President elect Joe Biden Congress said during a virtual press conference Friday. “Millions and millions of Americans just can’t wait any longer.”

A second incentive payment is not part of the flagship proposal, but got back to the conversation this week. A new White House proposal comes true $ 600 each for eligible adults, with an additional $ 600 allocated on behalf of each eligible child. But to pay the check, the White House plan would cut federal unemployment benefits from $ 180 billion to $ 40 billion, eliminating the additional $ 300 weekly checks.

“A dollar spent on increasing unemployment benefits will be a better incentive than a dollar spent on checks,” said Marc Goldwein, the policy leader at the Commission for a Responsible Federal Budget, according to The Hill.

Here is the situation with weekly federal unemployment insurance now. This story is regularly updated with new information.

read more: Coronavirus Unemployment: Who Is Covered, How To Apply, And How Much It Pays


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What if increased unemployment benefits expire?

According to a Dec. 3 report from the New York Times, without a new incentive bill to expand the programs instituted by the CARES Act:

  • 7 million handy workers and contractors will lose their benefits
  • 5 million people who have lost their jobs will be left without unemployment checks
  • Millions of Americans will be deported
  • About 21 million people will have to start paying for student loans
  • 125,000 companies will lose tax incentives not to lay off employees
  • $ 150 billion in aid to the state and local government is expiring

The US government is currently in a lame duck session until Biden will take up his duties on January 20, which means that President Donald Trump would have to sign any aid package that comes through Congress. Right now, that’s the only way around it improved unemployment benefits before they expire on December 31.

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Tens of millions of Americans are facing financial hardship.

Sarah Tew / CNET

What else ends without another stimulus package?

Unemployed workers received a bonus of $ 600 per week, along with a longer period to collect benefits as part of the $ 2.2 trillion CARES Act passed in March with the support of Democrats and Republicans. When the bonus ended in July, Trump signed a executive memo for continuing a reduced amount of the additional weekly resources, on top of the typical unemployment benefits.

Those funds are known as Lost Wage Assistance, or LWA, and the aid was planned to last six weeks, providing an additional $ 300 per week to unemployed workers (plus $ 100 from states) while Congress negotiations on a new economic aid package continued. . States have already exhausted their resources. The proposed and revised Heroes Act of October 1 the weekly bonus would go back to the original $ 600 for four months.

The CARES Act has instituted several programs, with one due date of December 31. In addition to the larger checks outlined above, the Rescue Act also expanded unemployment benefits for new applicants to 39 weeks instead of the typical 26 weeks set by the states. Those extra weeks will disappear, except in states that have already enacted a longer period through 2021.

Another program that will end on December 31 is the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Self-employed contractors and handy workers do not normally receive unemployment benefits, but PUA allows them to receive weekly funds, similar to other unemployed workers.

What happened to the summer’s $ 300 bonus checks?

Trump’s memo signed on August 8 recovery of a $ 300 weekly bonus check called Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) funded by the federal government through FEMA. The injunction also asked for an additional $ 100, provided by the states, to earn a total of $ 400 in increased unemployment benefits, although that has since been made optional.

States began sending checks for $ 300 in mid-August, with some sharing them for six weeks, while others providing lump sums to equalize the $ 1,800 total. Since December, all states have exhausted their allocated LWA funding.

Why have unemployment benefits actually increased?

Congress has it $ 2.2 Trillion CARES Act in March to help Americans and American businesses after cities began to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. Included in the package was additional unemployment assistance for people who lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19.

Since the introduction of shelter-in-place rules, tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs and have received the additional federal unemployment assistance. With states providing between $ 235 and $ 1,220 per week in aid, the additional $ 600 per week has been an important part of many people’s financial survival.

Who Was Eligible For Increased Unemployment Benefits?

If you are fired or on leave, you are eligible to claim unemployment benefits from your state of residence. Once the state has approved your claim, you will be eligible for all state benefits to which you are entitled. Because states cover 30% to 50% of a person’s wages – some states offer more, while others offer less – the additional $ 600 from the federal government was originally added to close the gap.

How did the CARES Act support people who were fired or on leave?

Each state has its own criteria for who is eligible for unemployment and what those benefits are. This includes how much money you can receive, which is usually based on your income, and how long you are eligible to receive it, which is usually based on how long you have had your most recent job. The CARES law provided for a stimulus fund – up to $ 600 extra per week – while also expanding state unemployment benefits to a maximum of 39 weeks instead of the typical 26 weeks.

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Time is running out for millions of Americans.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Who was not eligible for the extra unemployment benefit?

There will be some people who receive unemployment benefits who cannot take advantage of additional funding. The United States Department of Labor issued guidelines on the eligibility requirements for the LWA on August 11. Plaintiffs would have to qualify for a minimum of $ 100 from a state’s unemployment benefit program to qualify for the additional $ 300 in federal funds. This would disqualify 1 million people, according to the New York Times.

How are unemployment benefits calculated?

The state determines how much each applicant receives, usually based on that of an individual Gross Income. It varies from state to state, but usually ranges from $ 300 to $ 600.

How do I find out if I qualify for unemployment insurance?

Eligibility criteria vary from state to state, but the general rule is that you must apply if you have lost your job or are on leave through no fault of your own. This includes a job that is directly or indirectly lost due to the pandemic.

How do different states deal with unemployment benefits?

Again, the duration and amount of the benefit vary. Most states offer funding for up to 26 weeks, while others, such as Georgia, limit benefits to 12 weeks. On the other hand, Delaware extended benefits to 30 weeks. The weekly benefit amount depends on an applicant’s gross income when they were employed and ranges between $ 300 and $ 600, with some exceptions. Mississippi had paid up to $ 235, while Massachusetts’ maximum was $ 1,220.

Where can I find more information about my state’s policies?

Each state’s employment office provides information on its specific unemployment benefits.

How has the CARES Act helped self-employed people?

The CARES Act also created the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, which provides benefits to individuals who would normally not be eligible for state unemployment benefits, such as gig workers, freelancers, independent contractors, and small business owners whose income has been compromised by the pandemic. Under the CARES law, PUA funding is available until December 31.




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