The extra $300 unemployment benefit intended to help Americans who are out of work pay their bills during thehas already ended -- at least in some states. And the means there's currently no additional funding for unemployment benefits until the end of 2020.
What's going on? In a nutshell, some states are coming to the end of the six weeks allotted as part of President Donald Trump'sin early August -- called Lost Wages Assistance -- which used funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to supplement states' unemployment benefits.
So, which states are losing their funding and what could happen next? Read on for everything we know. And here's how fast we think the IRS could sendif there is one.
Which states are ending the $300 bonus? Wasn't it $400?
Trump's executive memo called for the federal government to supply $300 a week in extra unemployment benefits for six weeks, starting retroactively on Aug. 1. Those states that already received and sent out Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) to unemployment recipients have reached their six weeks, meaning the bonus checks will come to an end soon.
The president also called on each state to provide an additional $100, for a total of $400 per week in enhanced unemployment pay, though that's since been made optional.
FEMA approved the LWA program for six weeks to 48 states, along with Guam and Washington DC. Nevada applied for assistance on Sept. 2 and is waiting for approval, and South Dakota is the only state to choose not to apply for assistance. Arizona was the first state to send out the $300 bonus, on Aug. 17.
Here are the states that announced the end of the $300 bonus:
The Texas Workforce Commission sent notices on Sept. 9 saying the last LWA check would be for the week of Sept. 5. It says it wouldn't be able to provide additional funds without further federal action, but those who qualified for the weekly bonus will receive all six weeks of checks. State labor agencies in Arizona, Iowa and Utah announced this week the end of the LWA for unemployment recipients who will continue to receive the states' weekly benefit.
Those states that have yet to send out the $300 bonus should be sending the extra money in the coming weeks, either in weekly deposits or in one lump-sum amount of $1,800.
Is more enhanced unemployment money coming?
Enhanced unemployment is on the agenda if negotiations onresume and an agreement is made.
There are discussions in the White House for additional executive actions according to a report from the Washington Post on Sept. 9. This would be similar to what President Trump did in August and could include additional unemployment funding and improvements to his that has yet to be effective workers.
The new unemployment benefit is worth up to $6,600 less
The executive memorandum signed by the president provides $300 to unemployment benefits recipients. These funds are in addition to a state's standard payouts for those unemployed, which ranges from $300-$600 a week in most states.
As for the additional $100 stipulated in Trump's memo, most states already said they wouldn't be able to afford the amount with the exception so far being West Virginia.
How much you'll really get
||Aug. 1 - Sept. 1||Sept. 1 - Oct. 1||Oct. 1 - Nov. 1||Nov. 1 - Dec 1||Dec. 1 - Dec. 27||Total by Dec. 27|
|Full $400 weekly benefit (federal and state)||$2,000||$1,600||$1,600||$2,000||$1,600||$8,800|
|Partial $300 weekly benefit (federal only)||$1,500||$1,200||$1,200||$1,500||$1,200||$6,600|
|$600 weekly benefit (CARES Act)||$3,000||$2,400||$2,400||$3,000||$2,400||$13,200|
Who isn't eligible for the additional unemployment check?
There will be some people receiving unemployment payments who will not be able to take advantage of additional funding. The US Department of Labor (PDF) on Aug. 11 sent out guidance about the eligibility requirements for the LWA. Claimants would have to be eligible for a minimum $100 from a state's unemployment benefits program to qualify for the additional $300 federal funds. This would disqualify 1 million people, according to the New York Times.
What is the HEALS Act?
The White House and Senate Republicans agreed on the terms of an aid package, with a proposal, called the, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on July 27. The $1 trillion package addresses several programs created or modified by the CARES Act such as unemployment insurance, the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Income Payments.
The GOP has proposed reducing the enhanced unemployment benefit from $600 per week to $200. Then, in September, the benefit would be adjusted and combined with the states' unemployment offerings to equal 70% of a worker's wage.
If Congress decides to reinstate a federal unemployment benefit bonus -- in any amount -- it will likely take two to four weeks for payments to flow to states and then recipients, according to the Economic Policy Institute. So far, the proposal has been introduced only in the Senate. Democratic congressional leaders are currently negotiating with the GOP on the particulars of the plan.
What is the CARES Act?
Congress passed thein March to help Americans and US businesses after cities began locking down due to the pandemic. Included in the package was additional unemployment aid for people who lost their jobs because of the pandemic.
Since shelter-in-place rules were put in place, tens of millions of Americans have received the extra federal unemployment aid. With states providing between $235 and $1,220 per week in assistance, the additional $600 per week has been a major component of many people's financial lifeline.
Who was eligible for enhanced unemployment?
If you've been laid off or furloughed,. Once the state approves your claim, you're eligible to receive whatever state benefits you're entitled to. Because states cover 30% to 50% of a person's wages -- some states provide more while others offer less -- the extra $600 from the federal government was added on to help fill the gap.
How does the CARES Act help people who have been laid off or furloughed?
Each state has its own criteria for who is eligible to receive unemployment -- and what those benefits entail. This includes how much money you're eligible to receive, which is usually based on your income and how long you're eligible to receive it, which is usually based on how long you held your most recent job. The CARES Act provided a booster fund -- adding up to $600 extra per week -- while also extending states' unemployment benefits to a maximum of 39 weeks instead of the typical 26 weeks.
How are unemployment benefits calculated?
The state determines how much each applicant will receive, usually based on an individual's gross income. It varies from state to state but is typically between $300 and $600.
How can I find out if I'm eligible for unemployment benefits?
Eligibility criteria vary from state to state, but the general rule is that you should apply if you've lost your job or been furloughed through no fault of your own. This would include a job lost directly or indirectly to the current pandemic.
How are different states handling this?
Again, the benefit duration and amount varies. Most states provide up to 26 weeks of funding, though others, such as Georgia, limit benefits to 12 weeks. On the other hand, Delaware will provide benefits for up 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 pays up to $235, while Massachusetts' maximum is $1,220.
Where can I find more information about my state's policy?
Each state's labor office provides more information about its particular unemployment benefits.
How did the CARES Act help people who are self-employed?
The CARES Act also created the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides benefits to individuals who would not normally be eligible for unemployment benefits from the states such as gig workers, freelancers, independent contractors and small business owners whose income has been affected by the pandemic. Under the CARES Act, PUA funding will be available until Dec. 31, 2020.