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Will The Additional $600 Unemployment Benefits End Soon?

Updated : August 4th, 2020

In March 2020, the federal government has announced a comprehensive financial aid known as the Coronavirus, Assistance, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It included several provisions, one such being the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. Under the FPUC program, the eligible could receive an additional $600 unemployment benefits a week. 

The extra $600 unemployment benefits were scheduled to end on July 31. But now the Department Of Labor (DOL) has announced that benefits will be paid through the week ending July 25 or 26. The program is expected to end on July 25 in all states except New York. In New York, it is expected to end on July 26. 

Once the extra $600 unemployment benefits per week expires, the traditional unemployment payment, which varies from state to state, will return to below $400 a week. This is a significant blow to those counting on additional benefits to meet their basic needs.  

Why Is $600 Unemployment Benefits So Important To Americans?

Since March 2020, more than 40 million Americans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus-induced economic shutdown, and have applied for unemployment benefits. Even as businesses opened, as per the reports of the DOL, about 1.5 million people have filed an unemployment claim in the week ending June 20, taking the tally to 44 million. 

For millions of households, the Unemployment Insurance, especially the additional $600 benefits, has acted as a financial lifeline and stay afloat amidst layoffs and recession. But if the states end the program, it could have dire consequences for those families dependent on the extra benefits they are currently receiving. 

That is because many families have already exhausted their benefits they received with an expectation that they would receive benefits till July 31. With the FPUC program ending on July 25 or 26, households will continue to receive the standard amount, which is below $400.

Will $600 Unemployment Benefits Get Extended?

The answer, Depends. As per the CARES Act, the $600 unemployment benefits are expected to end in July 2020. However, under the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, the unemployed can collect the benefits until January 2021. 

However, it must be noted that the House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, but the Senate has approved the bill yet.  

How To Prepare To Cope-Up With The Smaller Payment During The Crisis?

Since the additional $600 unemployment benefits last in a few weeks, it is wiser to save the emergency fund to be able to meet the end needs.  

1. Cut Down Unnecessary Expenses 

Identify areas where you can cut down unnecessary expenses and monthly bills. Instead, you can save or use that money to pay other essential bills. For instance, if you have monthly streaming subscriptions and cable, you can cancel one of the services. You could also go for a free trial period for the time being. 

You can save huge amounts of money spent on food by preparing meals at home instead of ordering food. Also, you can use a cash-back card and get a bit of money back when you purchase groceries.

2. Broaden Job Search

By broadening your job search, the chances are high that you find one relatively faster. If you are willing to relocate, look for suitable positions in some other state. If you have skills that suit fields other than yours, then you can consider changing your existing field. For instance, AI technology finds its application in many fields, including health care, gaming, etc. 

3. Stay Updated On Relief Measures 

Since unemployment is rising despite reopening the economy, there is a possibility that the federal government or lawmakers may extend the additional benefits or announce some financial aid. Therefore, it is wiser to keep yourself updated with the latest developments. 

Final Words

With the FPUC program ending next month, let’s see if the states have to offer any other benefits to the unemployed in addition to the regular UI benefits. Until that, follow the measures mentioned above and prepare yourself to meet your needs with the standard UI benefits. 

 

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