This article was last updated on December 17
At this stage Congress is getting close to agree on a $900 billion stimulus package that does include extensions to unemployment and an extra $300 supplementary UI payment. There is also provision for a $600 one time stimulus payment. It is expected that Congress will pass the new stimulus along with government funding for the next year before Christmas. I will continue to post updates as new information comes to hand.
With House Democrats having passed their new $2.2T stimulus bill that included additional funding for an extra $600 p/week in supplementary unemployment benefits, many are asking when they could see this payment. There are still some hurdles to overcome before the benefit is finalized, but here is what a likely payment schedule and structure could look like:
Payment Date for New/Extra Unemployment Benefits
Whatever the final amount approved, which will likely range between $400 to $600 p/week according to media reports, the goal for state UI agencies will be to make this payment as soon as possible. This will mean eligibility criteria will be based on the now expired $600 FPUC or the more recent $300 to $400 LWA programs so that state UI agencies don’t have to reprogram or implement new systems. It is expected the new unemployment program’s effective date will be set to early September 2020, which is the date when LWA funding ran out. Actual payments for any new unemployment benefits will likely not start before late October or early November. But like other new UI programs implemented this year, every state will have different payment dates and schedules.
Retroactive Back Payments
As with prior programs, all payments will be made retroactively to the start date of the program. The key will be for state agencies getting their systems quickly in place to process these payments, while handing new and continuing claims. This is on top of all the other enhanced unemployment benefit programs.
When Will New Unemployment Benefits Be Confirmed?
To reiterate, the Republican controlled senate still has to approve any stimulus bill, including additional funding and/or the weekly benefit amount for unemployment benefits. The White House then needs to approve the final bill. Both of these steps could prevent further passages of this, as has happened in the past, but given the mounting pressure and economic pain millions of jobless Americans are facing I would be surprised if a deal is not done soon. Until then however the above is just my perspective and viewpoint.
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