The $ 600 weekly unemployment benefit received by unemployed Americans because of the COVID-19 pandemic “will disappear almost a week earlier than expected,” according to USA Today.
The benefit was included in the CARES law passed by Congress in March to mitigate the financial fallout from the coronavirus crisis.
The payments of $ 600 were supposed to end largely on July 31 – but a technicality in the fine print means that payments may not be made for the last days of the month.
CARE law states that benefits will end “no later than July 31”, which is Friday. However, unemployment benefits are paid by states whose weekly end date is Saturday or Sunday.
USA Today concludes that people will no longer be eligible for payment after Saturday July 25 or Sunday July 26.
If the government does not make an amendment, it will be a major blow to the millions of unemployed Americans who will come out of it with tight payments.
Regular unemployment benefits in the United States average about $ 370 per week.
The $ 600 weekly unemployment benefit received by unemployed Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic “will disappear almost a week earlier than expected,” according to USA Today.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said last month that the $ 600 benefits did not encourage unemployed Americans to find new jobs, and Republican Senator Rob Portman even offered a “bonus on the way back to work ”for those who got it.
“The problem with the extra $ 600, and maybe we needed it during this time of emergency, but frankly, it’s a major drag on returning to work and we don’t want it,” said Kudlow .
“We want people to go back to work.”
According to a study published by three economists at the University of Chicago in early May, two-thirds of workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic are entitled to unemployment benefits that exceed their lost wages.
Because average wages vary widely from state to state, the fixed federal supplement of $ 600 means that total unemployment benefits now exceed the average wage in at least 35 states.
However, many Democrats have offered to extend the benefits – especially as coronavirus cases continue to increase, raising fears of another large-scale blockage.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said last month that the $ 600 benefits did not encourage unemployed Americans to find new jobs.
“This is putting money in people’s pockets, we are going to see a large number of people evicted,” said USA Today, citing Senator Sherrod Brown, about the $ 600 benefit.
Meanwhile, a Florida woman said that receiving money was a matter of life and death for many.
Melissa Rusk, a mother of four, remained unemployed during the pandemic, and says that the weekly benefit of $ 600 was crucial to her, despite the fact that her husband is still working.
The New York Times reports that about 30 million Americans are currently receiving financial assistance from the government.
According to the publication, 19.5 million people receive unemployment benefits, “more than 11 million people received federal assistance in the event of an unemployment pandemic on June 6”.
People queue in front of the Kentucky Career Center before it opens to find help with their unemployment claims in Frankfort, Kentucky, June 18
The number of laid-off workers applying for unemployment benefits fell slightly to 1.48 million last week, a twelfth consecutive drop and a sign that layoffs are slowing but staying at painfully high levels.
The Labor Department said on Thursday that new claims for state unemployment benefits amounted to 1.48 million for the week ended June 20, up from 1.54 million the previous week and the first time it has fallen below 1.5 million since March.
However, a sudden resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the United States, particularly in the South and West, threatens to derail an economic rebound.
On Wednesday, the nation set a record for new cases of coronavirus. Many states maintain their own daily infection records, including Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas, and Oklahoma. Coronavirus cases have also jumped in Florida and Georgia.
If these trends continue, states could place limits on companies that would likely result in job losses.
“The health crisis continues to cast a shadow over the economic landscape,” said Bob Schwartz, senior economist at Oxford Economics, a forecasting company.
The Labor Department said on Thursday that new claims for state unemployment benefits amounted to 1.48 million for the week ended June 20.