Why The $600 Unemployment Benefit Won’t Be Extended
July. 14, 2020
The $600 every week in federal unemployment benefits ends on July 31. Speaking to CNBC , Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, explained that the Trump administration intends to cap unemployment benefits in the next COVID-19 relief package. This is to ensure that workers do not get more in unemployment than they got at their workplaces.
Courtesy the Cares Act implemented in March, employees received as much as $600 each week to boost responsiveness to stay-at-home orders. This was in addition to their standard unemployment paybacks, that detractors say encouraged the unemployed to not search for work.
Echoing the critics’ sentiments, Mnuchin told CNBC that the benefits would likely not exceed 100 percent of the workers’ normal wages. In addition, in so doing, the Trump administration hopes to motivate workers to return to work.
How Does The $600 Federal Unemployment Benefit Work?
According to the Washington Post , more than 33 million workers in America were laid-off due to the coronavirus pandemic. This placed families, who had not prepared for a chance loss of income, in unbearable financial situations. Besides, prior to the pandemic, 59 percent of Americans were barely earning a sustainable income, as stated by Charles Schwab survey in 2019 .
Therefore, the national government, through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), provided federal subsidies to states to manage and provide $600 weekly funding to out-of-work individuals in the respective states. The $1.8 trillion package passed by Congress was channeled to help the country survive the economically challenging times caused by the pandemic.
With the relief package, families who suffered financial blows due to the pandemic have been receiving weeks of financial benefits. The benefits have been helping to fill some income gaps through the weeks ending on July 31, 2020.
Does Everyone On Unemployment Get The $600?
According to the US Department of Labor , the jobless benefits are issued to every person already getting state job-loss benefits under the Cares act.
Such individuals include those who need to self-isolate due to illness or caring for a household member diagnosed with coronavirus. In addition, persons who were not able to work from home and were mandated to remain at home were eligible. Similarly, the benefit covers people who were listed to start a job but have not been able to do so owing to the pandemic.
Likewise, individuals who have taken up the breadwinner role for their families after the person who had been the breadwinner died as a direct result of the virus qualify for the job-loss settlement. Equally, those who had to leave their job because of the pandemic, along with those whose workplaces closed due to COVID-19 are allowed to receive the support .
However, undocumented employees cannot access the benefits. This also applies to children whose parents are not documented. Other categories of individuals who do not qualify for the regular benefits include freelancers, gig workers, and independent contractors. In addition, part-time workers whose states do not provide unemployment insurance to part-time employees are not eligible.
Consequently, states have been regulating their own requirements for individuals who lost their former employment, to qualify for the extra unemployment benefits.
Why The Benefit Will Not Be Extended
The impact of the boosted unemployment benefits has been a hot subject among economists. While backers say that the additional benefit has helped to keep households out of poverty, opponents claim that businesses are experiencing difficulty in enrollment . Many unemployed workers are reluctant to look for work because they find no incentive to do so.
That said, a new proposal from the democrats desires to push the benefits until the unemployment rates fall. That is because millions of individuals will have their income cut amid the pandemic when joblessness is higher than it has been since the Great Depression. Moreover, going back to work can be risky for workers who do not get hazard pay and may not get sick leaves during the pandemic.
However, Republicans share a different opinion and want to let the job-loss benefits culminate at the close of the month. Nevertheless, according to Mnuchin, the current administration supports another round of unemployment recompenses. He added that the level and criteria for payments in the next round would need to be determined. All this is to ensure that people return to work in efforts to improve the currently deteriorating economy.
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