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Additional $ 600 Unemployment Loss Canceled: Many Cannot Live On Remaining Benefits

Unemployment checks have dropped significantly for millions of Americans after the expiration of the $ 600 a week federal assistance policy, writes CNBC... Some US residents are left with benefits of only $ 5 a week.

Photo: Shutterstock

Part-time workers, low-wage workers, and some freelancers and contractors will feel this decline more acutely than others.

The $ 600 weekly federal unemployment relief supplement, part of the federal coronavirus relief law passed in March, supplemented the standard aid that states pay.

"Meager" unemployment benefits

However, state unemployment assistance can vary greatly from person to person and ranges between a minimum and a maximum. Most states pay a minimum of about $ 100 per week.

Hawaii, for example, pays $ 5 a week at the minimum. Other states such as Louisiana ($ 10), Connecticut ($ 15), North Carolina ($ 15), Nevada ($ 16), Oklahoma ($ 16), and Delaware ($ 20) do not have much higher levels, according to the Department of Labor.

Arizona and Washington State have the highest lows at $ 190 per week. The US average is $ 61.

Federal Unemployment Insurance increased these minimum payments by $ 600 per week.

On the subject: An additional $ 600 to unemployment benefits can be obtained retroactively: procedure

But this policy expired on Friday, July 31st, which means that people who receive the minimum (or near the minimum amount) will in some cases rely only on a few dollars a week for assistance.

“Unemployment benefits can be meager without a federal premium,” said Andrew Stettner, senior fellow at the Century Foundation. "Especially at a time when it is very difficult for many people to find work."

Democrats and Republicans are still in talks about what to do, including whether to extend (or replace) the $ 600 per week premium. Officials made it clear that there is no compromise yet.

Low income and part-time work

A low minimum does not necessarily mean that a state is less generous than others. For example, Hawaii, which has the lowest minimum, paid the second highest average benefit in May at $ 466 per week.

States paid an average of $ 321 per week in May, according to the Department of Labor. However, Americans who are part-time or self-employed can only claim the minimum.

A small proportion of workers receive the state's minimum weekly payment, Stettner said. Some, such as part-time and low-wage workers, are more likely to receive the minimum than others.

States set eligibility requirements (for example, a certain amount of wages for the last year) to enable residents to receive unemployment benefits.

Mixed workers

Mixed workers who make a living with a combination of traditional W-2 income and self-employment income (such as Form 1099) may also receive the minimum benefit.

On the subject: Crisis Checks and Other Aid: What Republicans Offer and What Democrats Offer

The CARES Act, which created a subsidy of $ 600 a week, also extended unemployment benefits to previously ineligible workers such as self-employed, freelancers, independent contractors, and gig workers.


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