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Unemployment Money, More: These 5 benefits will blaze next month if no stimulus bill passes



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Utilities for COVID-19 are running out fast.

CNET staff

Time is running out COVID-19 utilities created by the CARES Act back in March. Unless Democrats and Republicans come to an agreement on a new incentive account, the last provisions intended to prevent evictions, bankruptcy and hunger, such as one $ 1,200 stimulus check and improved unemployment benefits, expires on December 31, 2020.

President elect Joe Biden urged Congress to pass another bill for emergency economic relief last week as the pandemic hits record highs across the country. Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan said the US economy could experience a double dip recession, referring to the rise and second decline after a recession.

While Biden is reportedly gearing up to sign executive orders targeting climate change and foreign policy, the president-to-be could also renew some of these measures if a stimulus bill doesn’t bridge the gap. However, he could only act after his inauguration on January 20.

Without additional resources, these are the most important programs that will disappear before January 1, 2021.

read more: What to do if you missed the November 21st deadline to claim your missing stimulus check money


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Renewal of unemployment benefits

Individual states handle unemployment insurance claims and determine whether a person is eligible, how much they receive, and for how long they can collect. While it varies from state to state, the CARES Act extended the duration of benefits from 26 weeks to 39 weeks. Beginning January 1, those additional 13 weeks provided by the federal government are over.

Some states have already filled the void themselves, including extending their disbursement period to 59 weeks, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Others, including Alabama, Arkansas, and Utah, have taken no action against it, which could leave unemployed workers in those states unaided when the new year begins.

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

Pandemic Un Employment Assistance Program for those who are not normally eligible

Another initiative of the CARES Act, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, also known as PUA, provided economic relief to those who would not normally qualify for unemployment: the self-employed, contractors and handymen. The PUA will end on December 31. If the federal government doesn’t renew it, it’s up to the states to determine whether to step in on January 1.

The extra $ 300 extra unemployment check per week

Average weekly unemployment benefit does not always equal an employee’s income and typically ranges between $ 300 and $ 600. To help fill the gap, the CARES Act added one weekly unemployment benefit of $ 600. When that bonus expired on July 31, Trump signed an executive memo paving the way for a smaller weekly bonus of $ 300 (for a six-week period), with the expectation that Congress would soon approve another aid package. That hasn’t happened, and most states have used up the six weeks of additional funding. The $ 300 bonus will end on December 27, according to the president’s memo, and is expected to go unused.

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Can Congress put these programs back together before more damage is done? It’s a waiting game.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Eviction of moratorium to protect tenants and home owners

The CARES Act limited protection in evictions by focusing only on homes with a federal mortgage loan or households that received some form of federal funding. The the protections were then expanded in September by the Centers for Disease Control, calling for an end to evictions for non-payment of rent. This agency order covered more households, including tenants in 43 million households, but it also has a December 31 expiration date.

Federal Student Loan Deferral

Students who pay off federal student loans were also given a reprieve under the CARES Act, allowing them to defer their loan payments (and halt interest accrual) until the end of September 2020. In August Trump extended the delay to December 31. On January 1, borrower servicers may again charge interest on these loans and students may have to pay them back unless the servicers offer deferment options.

For more information, here the most recent status of stimulus negotiations, and here it is everything we know about the next lump sum payment.


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