More than 9.5 million workers lost their jobs during the pandemic, with 4 million unemployed for at least half a year, according to the Labor Department. With the economy showing signs of recovery, state governors say local businesses have unfilled vacancies and unemployed workers will return to the workforce if unemployment insurance is taken out.
This is what states offer a return to work bonus to lure the unemployed into job openings. For more information, here’s what you need to know about thefrom the IRS and this year .
What are ‘return to work’ bonuses and which states offer them?
As it sounds, a handful of states are planning to send a return to work check to unemployed workers taking local jobs. Each state has guidelines for eligibility for the bonus: Arizona, for example, requires unemployed workers to start between May 13 and September 6. In New Hampshire, employees must work eight consecutive weeks in a job that pays $25 or less an hour. See below for which states offer a bonus and their requirements.
At least four states that cancel the $300 bonus checks — Arizona, Montana, New Hampshire and Oklahoma — offer a bonus to employees who accept a job. Other states — including Colorado and Connecticut — are continuing to pay $300 but offer their own new job bonus. Each state has slightly different requirements for receiving the money, so check with your state for guidelines.
You can receive $2,000 if you work the equivalent of at least eight 40-hour weeks in the first 10 weeks after returning to work in a qualifying job. If you work the equivalent of at least eight weeks of 20 hours in the first 10 weeks after you go back to work, you can get $1,000. One of the eligibility rules is that between May 13 and September 6, you must start a new job that pays $25 or less per hour.
If you start a full-time job (and meet the other requirements) between May 16 and June 26, the state will send you a check: $1,600 if you start in May and $1,200 if you start in June.
Beginning May 30, eligible state residents who take a job and work eight consecutive weeks will be eligible for a $1,000 payment. The program runs until the end of 2021.
The state will pay a $1,200 bonus to those who filed for unemployment as of May 4 and have since accepted a new job. The state said it will contact those who qualify after four weeks of working at their new jobs.
If you start a job beginning May 18 and work eight consecutive weeks, the state will pay $1,000 for a full-time job and $500 for part-time work. Jobs must pay $25 or less per hour to qualify.
The state will pay $1,200 to the first 20,000 unemployed to take a job between May 17 and September 4. To qualify, you must work 32 hours a week for six consecutive weeks.
Which states are also considering a back-to-work bonus?
At least two other states – New York and North Carolina – are considering return-to-work bonuses. Both are still participating in the $300 federal payment program, which expires in September.
For more incentive money you could receive through government benefits, here’s the latest on thefrom July, including and for those checks.