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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. If I’m laid off and I go back to work for three or four weeks and get laid off again do I have to do the one week waiting period before I can collect again?

  2. I was informed by the automated phone system that my claim for last week 06/12/2021 was not processed due to an outstanding issue on said claim. I have tried for four days to reach a human to assist me in this matter. It’s been impossible! Please help.

    1. Anne,

      Wish we could do something for you. This is a private forum. Please continue following up regularly. You can perhaps write them an email.

  3. I am trying to request payments from aug 2015 up until 2017 I never received a debit card and just assumed that I was denied. So i did not request payment but would like to now

    1. Katrina,

      That period is past and you might not be able to claim retroactively. Please write the office an email if you wish to.

  4. Ive provided documents that were needed and i have not receive any type of response i have went without benefits for 6 weeks could someone please contact me

    1. Sondra,

      Please note this is a private forum and we do not have access to your claim. Please follow up with the office directly.

  5. To whom it may concern, Please what is wrong with the site to claim weeks? I am at the Career Source and they said it has been acting up for 2 days. I am frustrated so I can imagine how many others are like me. I was laid off 4/16/2021. My UI is showing active but still under review. Is there anything you need from me to get this going? I will give it to you. Please July rent coming up. I am tapped from asking from family to get me thru now. Please please please any answers for me? I am begging right now. I can not be late on rent or they will not renew my lease when it is time. I can not move, to costly. I have been here for 20 years. Please any suggestions. I will pay back July rent if my UI goes thru. No reason why it shouldn’t. Please help. Thanks again, Kay

    1. Kay,

      It must be a tough time for you. This is a private forum and we do not have access to your claim. Please chase the Office directly.

  6. I just filed for my first weeks benefit and am trying to change the payment method. It does not give me the verify who you are questions?

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