On the 26th, two programmes to combat the unemployment pandemic, benefiting 14 million people, will be launched. The month of December will end and the $300 a week extra benefits won’t begin unless President Trump signs a $900 billion aid package that would extend employee benefits or Congress lifts a potential veto. Special pandemic-related programmes and additional financial support helped workers who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting power cuts.
At the beginning of the pandemic, more than 22 million jobs were lost in March and April. By November, about 12 million had recovered.
This is what we know about the status of payment programs:
How can unemployment benefit be phased out?
A programme called Pandemic Unemployment Pandemic Assistance was aimed at the self-employed, highly skilled workers and others who would not normally be entitled to unemployment benefits. The other, Emergency Pandemic Unemployment Benefit, provided up to 13 weeks extra payments for those who had received other benefit programmes, such as regular government unemployment benefit, had been exhausted.
Normal government programmes are not affected. These programs, which usually last 26 weeks, cover about 90 percent of U.S. employees.
How about an extra $300 a week?
The legislation would give dismissed workers until the 14th day of work. March, in addition to what they would receive through regular government programs, pay $300 a week. If the assistance programme does not enter into force, workers who continue to receive benefits will continue to receive the same amounts as before. The average weekly benefit paid under regular government programs for the 12 months ending November was $319.13.
When do the benefits expire?
These programmes expire on 31 December. December, unless a new aid package becomes law and expands it. As unemployment is paid weekly, the week ends on the 26th. December ends, the last week for which benefits can be paid, said
Senior Researcher at the Century Foundation, studying the unemployment system.
The employees will probably receive this last payment the week of the 27th. Decembers received, he says, although there is no legal deadline for payment. Some of the unemployed experienced payment delays during the pandemic.
How many people could lose their benefits?
According to the Ministry of Labour, the two pandemic programmes accounted for some 14 million of the more than 20 million applications for permanent employment submitted during week 5 December. These current claims represent the estimated number of unemployed people receiving benefits.
Data on pandemic programs have been irregular week after week, and the Government Accountability Office, a federal oversight agency, has stated that the Department of Labor’s data was erroneous due to fraud and misreporting.
A report from the Brookings Institution was published on 3 December, stating that on 26 December there were approximately 10 million employees. They will lose their unemployment benefit in December. Nearly four million additional workers risk losing their benefits in the weeks following that date, largely because they have been out of work for so long that they would have exhausted their entitlement to other programmes.
Do these benefits for losers have options?
People receiving long-term pandemic benefits may be able to switch to comprehensive government benefit programmes. The Brookings Report indicates that around 3.2 million workers could be displaced by the end of December, but the duration of these benefits varies from state to state.
Migrant workers and others who are not eligible for regular unemployment programmes will lose their benefits if the pandemic programme is not extended for them. The program was capped at 39 weeks in March, so those who had lost their jobs in March had already reached or were approaching that limit.
The legislation adopted by Congress this month extends the period during which workers can claim benefits to 50 weeks, and those who have already exhausted their benefits can reapply for them.
Do workers who lose their benefits have to apply again if additional benefits are later required by law?
It is not clear how the benefits are to be paid when they expire, and what the workers have to do to be reinstated may depend on the length of the delay.
A short discrepancy could mean that the unemployed fill in a minimum application, as they do to verify the persistence of their unemployment, which is already required, Stettner said. A longer delay – maybe until after the presidential election.
the inauguration on 20 January could lead to complications for the state systems, which in 2020 have sometimes found it difficult to process applications. Do the states have to bring everyone back? Many will not be able to bring everyone back immediately, Stettner said.
Email Eric Morata at [email protected].
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