Unless Congress takes action now, unemployment benefits of $ 600 per week will end tomorrow.

Here’s what you need to know.

Unemployment benefits expire tomorrow

Unemployment benefits of $ 600 per week are expected tomorrow. The Cares Act – the $ 2.2 trillion stimulus package – authorized $ 600 per week of improved unemployment benefits. The Cares Act refers to July 31, 2020 as the official expiration date of these unemployment benefits, also known as pandemic federal unemployment benefits. However, the United States Department of Labor says states can pay unemployment benefits within the week ending a week before July 31, 2020. Since July 31 is not a Saturday or Sunday, this means that the previous week becomes the end date of these supplementary services, which are paid weekly or biweekly and end on Saturday or Sunday. This means that for all states except New York, the end date would be tomorrow, July 25th. The New York end date would be Sunday July 26th.


Will Congress extend these unemployment benefits?

Congress has several options for dealing with $ 600 a week unemployment benefits. Here are 3 potential options:

Option 1: do not extend unemployment benefits

Congress could allow unemployment benefits of $ 600 per week to expire. These enhanced benefits are due to expire tomorrow and Congress must not extend these additional benefits. Having said that, there is a low probability that Congress will completely stop these employment benefits. Because? More than 40 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits and Congress does not want to eliminate Americans who need financial support most. It is also an election year and members of Congress have to respond to their constituents, at least some of whom are unemployed.


Option 2: use a stop gap measure for unemployment benefits

If Congress has not finalized a proposal before unemployment benefits expire, Congress could use a stop gap measure as a “bridge” to continue unemployment benefits at the current rate of $ 600 per week. This would allow recipients to continue receiving unemployment benefits and to spend more time in Congress to finalize a proposal to continue those unemployment benefits.


Option 3: extend unemployment benefits, but reduce the amount

Senate Republicans are expected to extend unemployment benefits, but they would reduce the allowances from $ 600 per week to about $ 200 to $ 300 per week. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that unemployment benefits would be based on an “approximately 70% wage change”. What does this mean? Many Republicans believed that the $ 600 a week unemployment benefit creates a disincentive for recipients to return to work. Several Republicans have argued that with $ 600 per week of unemployment benefits, more money can be received in the event of unemployment than at work, which can create a potential disincentive to return to work, which can also perpetuate an unemployment problem. long term. Democrats will oppose the sharp drop in unemployment benefits. On the contrary, the House of Representatives has passed heroes law, a $ 3 trillion stimulus package, which would extend unemployment benefits by $ 600 per week until January 31, 2021. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) also proposed that Congress extend unemployment benefits based on a state’s unemployment rate.


Can you still receive unemployment benefits?

What happens if Congress ends $ 600 a week unemployment benefits? Congress may drop unemployment benefits by $ 600 per week. Currently, Senate Republicans would reduce these unemployment benefits to around $ 200 a week. If this happens, remember this: you can still collect traditional unemployment benefits through the state in which you last worked.

  • In most states, you get paid weekly and can receive unemployment benefits until half of wages, subject to maximum benefit.
  • Most states like New York, California and Texas offer 26 weeks of unemployment benefits through a state-funded unemployment insurance system.
  • You can still receive up to 39 weeks of unemployment through the pandemic emergency unemployment benefit (PEUC), which provides an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits.
  • If your state provides less than 39 weeks of unemployment benefits, you can receive the difference through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

Next steps

Senate majority Mitch McConnell (R-KY) plans to present his new stimulus proposal Thursday. however, the the new stimulus package will be introduced on Monday and is expected to include second stimulus checks, liability protection and reduced unemployment benefits. Senators leave for the summer break after August 7th, so the goal is to finalize a stimulus package before then. Currently, Republicans and Senate Democrats have conflicting views on unemployment benefits. While Republicans want to cut unemployment benefits, Democrats want to extend these strengthened unemployment benefits to the current rate of $ 600 per week. The most likely scenario is that unemployment benefits are extended to a dollar amount of less than $ 600 per week. While Republicans want $ 200 a week, the amount may increase in the final bill.


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