Keeping Updated on Unemployment Benefits

CARES Act $600 Payments Scheduled to End July 31

Since mid-March, over 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment. In addition to state-level benefits, many people across the country are also receiving an extra $600 from the Federal Government under the CARES Act, which passed on March 27.

As of now, the federal unemployment payments are set to expire July 31, at which point benefits will return to normal amounts determined by each state. Although this date is roughly two months away, eight weeks can go by fast.

Enhanced Benefits Are Available Through the End of 2020

Although these $600 payments are set to expire at the end of July, the Federal Government is providing additional unemployment assistance.

Through the CARES Act’s Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PECU) program, 13 additional weeks of unemployment insurance benefits are available for those who have already used benefits provided by their state. This means that most individuals are able to receive a total of 39 weeks of unemployment insurance, even in states that offer fewer weeks than most.

Unlike the additional $600 per week, these enhanced benefits end on or before December 31, 2020 and, as of now, will not extend into 2021.

Benefits for Gig, Part-time, and Contract Workers

Remember, gig, part-time, and contract workers are also all covered under a program included in the CARES Act. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program extends benefits to these groups, including the extra $600 each week.

Although it is not yet clear, there is a possibility the extra $600 per week benefit could be extended. On May 15, the House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, which would extend the extra $600 per week and other unemployment benefits from the first stimulus package through January 2021. It would also extend benefits for gig and contract workers through March 2021. However, it is still unclear if the Senate will also pass the bill.

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