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How Are Americans Coping With $600 Week Unemployment Benefit Expiration?

Updated : September 11th, 2020

How Are Americans Coping With The Expiry Of The 600 Weekly Unemployment Benefit This July

The emergency coronavirus benefits provided to many Americans will come to a halt at the end of July. One of the relief measures came to an end on July 25 or 26 is the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), commonly known as the $600 weekly unemployment benefit announced under the CARES Act, depending on each state’s rules and regulations.

Traditionally, regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits provided by the state aim to recover an amount that is half of a worker’s wages on average. The average unemployment compensation paid out by the Labor departments of the states was $333 per week, where Oklahoma was provided as low as $101, and Massachusetts was provided $531. US workers’ median weekly wages as a whole population group were $1002 in the second quarter of this year.

To ensure that workers have enough to tide out the pandemic, they were eligible for an additional $600 every week. This additional amount is added to the regular Unemployment Insurance payment.

Importance Of $600 Weekly Unemployment Benefit 

In these times of job losses, $600 of additional benefits help Americans survive on essential items and use the money to search for other forms of livelihood. Americans who fall under the low-income category especially tend to use such extra unemployment benefits to purchase essential commodities and stock goods like groceries, cleaning supplies, etc. 

For most low-wage Americans, the $600 weekly relief measure has helped them immensely. Some were able to earn much more than their previous jobs paid. With the help of the unemployment pay and the one-time-stimulus check, many can afford medical assistance. 

Many Americans also convert their mileage points and purchase commodities from online stores. To sustain themselves, some purchased used cars to look for alternative job opportunities from surrounding areas. Such people are very grateful that they can be financially stable and can give back to the community.  

The continuation of FPUC benefits can be beneficial now. Curtailing the $600 weekly benefits in states with the lowest provision of unemployment benefits can have severe repercussions, as in the case of Mississippi. It has the lowest average weekly unemployment benefit when compared to the rest of the states. A Mississippian worker’s benefits will drop from about $812 per week to $212, a nearly 75% decline. The worker will have a hard time surviving during this pandemic crisis. 

Besides helping individuals, the $600 weekly unemployment benefit could contribute to reviving the now ailing economy in the long run. According to economists, the $600 weekly unemployment relief will bring the US economy to stability. Wayne Vroman, an economist from Urban Institute, said that “It could go a long distance in stabilizing American household income and help to maintain purchasing power for the consumer sector of the economy.” 

Michele Evermore said,” Americans might think that if they have a job, they won’t be affected when the $600 weekly benefit expires. But when 30 million won’t be having any access to the benefit, that is when the multiplier effect will be shown in the economy. “

For Those Who Go Back To Work, Are Their Earnings Enough?

Some people have managed to retain their jobs, but are working for lesser hours. 

Their salary had been proportionately reduced for the reduced number of hours and simultaneously received a partial unemployment benefit of $130 every week. Such workers say that even with a job and partial unemployment benefits, they make far less money than when working full-time. 

They also mention that without the $600 weekly benefit, they wouldn’t know what to do. Most laid-off workers try searching for other job opportunities, but the situation is unfortunate, with a scarcity of jobs everywhere. 

Since low-wage workers have very little income, they are forced to reduce their spending, including housing. Most of them paid house rent but are anxious about their future once the moratoriums on evictions end of August. 

Does Everyone Who Is Eligible Get Unemployment Aid?

Many people who are eligible for unemployment aid do not apply for it, and even if they apply, they do not receive the payments on time. According to The Century Foundation, only 33 million claims out of 18.8 million were paid by May. 

Many Americans had tried for the FPUC in April, but they had still not received any benefit even three months later. They, along with their family members, were eligible to receive the benefits but have received no response from the concerned department.

Many initial hiccups were ironed out of the system, with the government hiring people to manage the additional load of new applicants and upgrading the technology. However, many people have remained outside the protection of the system, and appeals hearings are pending.


The $600 weekly unemployment benefit is crucial for most Americans, whether they have a job with reduced hours. With its expiry this July, most Americans would have a hard time surviving. Most Americans are very apprehensive about their future since many small businesses have not survived the pandemic.

On the other hand, some critics point out that the excess amount received from this relief measure will dissuade employees from returning to their jobs. The only solution to this is a complete economic recovery.

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  1. So I have been getting ue for 6 months and on Oct 21 I had a fact finding issue found and cleared after taking a month, I got put on hold I got nothing no benefits nothing because I am on hold until cleared up and it was another month later in my favor, I’ve been without payment since Oct 21 since then I have been on HOLD, I am beyond pissed, I call every Fri I see the letter I received saying its in my favor that says I am Monetary Eligible-yet I still have 6 payments on hold. I call DEO and I talk, I beg and I get told “we are working on it”, the letter is in my favor I am poor not rich I am poor Why how do you people get away with this

  2. Hello

    I’m 59 years old and was laid off in March 2020 due to Covid.
    In June 2020 I was advised my job was eliminated and there is no chance of me
    Being brought back. I’m collecting UI since March.

    Pondering the thought of taking my early retirement pension as I can’t survive on
    UI any longer. My pension is of course reduced due to my age. Full pension is age 62.

    If I apply for early reduced pension in this situation, does my UI benefit get decreased? I’m in New York.
    I’m still looking for full time work. No luck.

    Thank you so much

  3. i was just layed off from my job, i did collect benefits in pa. my job is seasonal igot unemployment payments in jan. to april i had 26 weeks of unemployment , but only used about 13 weeks, and was called back to work. i received 2 weeks of 600 dollars of stimlus money. my question is now that i reopened my 2020 claim . i,m i still elegibe for any more stimlus payments along with my regular unemployment payments.

  4. I am 65 yrs old in California and being layed off in Dec 2020. If I apply for unemployment benefits and collect a company pension, will the pension reduce the unemployment benefits ? If you answer call unemployment what is the department or do you have a phone number for a help line. I have called and get automated questions that do not apply to my situation.
    Cannot get to a live person.

  5. Several years ago I was part of a reduction in force and was early-retired for pension purposes. I count on this small pension ($2K/mo) to supplement my employment which has been inconsistent this past two years. I am filing for UI in IL and I qualify for it, but they are saying my pension reduces my UI benefit to zero. Is that right?

    1. Mike,

      That is partially right. The pension will have an impact on UI benefits. Please check for relevant info on the Unemployment Office’s website.

  6. I have $219.00 left on my UE and still no work due to covid-19 will i be able to get a extension on my UE and will it cover the last two weeks. I request payment tomorrow.

      1. My benefits have expired, still.unemployed due to over 65, wdiebrtes, high blood pressure and have one kidney, Can I get PUA , Cares Act for any assistance

  7. im working at a place i have been layed off from a lot in my career.i got 30 yrs in there so i can retire now but need another job to make it hoping to stay working and get more hours.If i take a new job and get layed off there I will BE DRAWING 1400 A MONTH FROM THE JOB I WORKED 30 YRS would i be able to draw unemployment if the new job lays me off and would it be reduced because of my retirement money of 1400 month.

  8. My bf was laid off in April he got the the 600 to start with now he is only getting the unemployment and no extra when we hear ppl getting 3 checks totaling 40k that might be lies but still that is bullshit.

  9. I Sharon Bland or Sharon Scott or Sharon Ann Mccraw
    Use my phone to claim two of my boyfriends and my own benefits. Is that ok ?

  10. I’m getting pua on employment and it was supposed to be backdated to May 27th when I wasn’t ableable to start my new job and somehow it’s August 24th they said it would be backdated been sending messages and pua people keep saying they have emailed you guys too but nobody gets back to me who do I need to contact about this thank you

  11. I check my checking account balance every week but I cannot tell if I am getting my 300.00 extra unemployment. Also. How can I tell if I got my back time unemployment .

    1. Thelma,

      I did not understand what you meant. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for precise answers to all your questions.

  12. I have exhausted my UI and all extensions. Not eligible for Fed Ed. Does EDD open a PUA claim for me. Or do I have to aoole for it. Its been past 30 days since receiving my Fed Ed denial letter.

  13. i have been unemployed for the whole year almost and since i have been trying to distance myself to better my all around health, it took me this long to file for benefits, i was hoping to get back pay all the way to the beginning.

    1. Zach,

      To qualify, the claimant is required to have sufficient earnings/employment during the “Base Period”. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website for more.

  14. Thank you o much for investigating this. When I received an overpayment statement and my benefits where stopped I felt my heart drop to my stomach. Already being evicted by a slumlord and now no income, i had to start working when i feel very at risk for getting the virus because of pre-existing conditions and the reason for filing in the first place. i am a cosmetologist and considered non-essential. I feel utterley hopeless and helpless in this situation.

  15. I cannot contact anyone in the unemployment offices because the phone hangs up on me in all cases after listening over and over the recorded message. I have called three numbers .

    I have received pandemic unemployment since March 31st. There was a pending adjudication but I never received any questions, letters nor emails about it and I was approved and paid. Now…this is what the website says:
    7 of 7 entries
    Issue Identification Number Employer Name Issue Type Status Date Mailed Level
    0002 7693 59-01
    PUA Pending 11/16/2020 Adjudication
    0002 4773 71-01
    Program Integrity Mailed 11/6/2020 Adjudicati
    Claimant Inbox
    Select the Search button to display your action items. To narrow your search, input issue date range below and select the Search button.
    Issue Date: From: To: 11/6/2020 to 11/16/2020
    • Below are the items that require your attention and that you need to take action on for your claim.
    • Select the Document ID
    I need this money to survive as others do while I am trying to re-establish any contract freelance work I am capable of doing….I report my small jobs as I get them but they do not come close to equaling my unemployment as of yet. Please tell me where I can go to find out what is needed here.

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