UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

When will federal unemployment benefits expire? PEUC, PUA, and $300 weekly payments

The additional pandemic jobless support is set to end soon, but advocacy groups are calling on President Biden to extend the programmes beyond that deadline.

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When will federal unemployment benefits expire? PEUC, PUA, and $300 weekly payments
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS AFP

Throughout the pandemic the additional unemployment benefits provided by the federal government have been a vital lifeline for millions who have lost their livelihoods due to covid-19.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) programmes were first introduced in the CARES Act of March 2020, and were subsequently extended by President Biden one year later.

But after an 18-month lifespan, all three of these additional support programmes are set to expire on 6 September.

Some residents will lose the additional unemployment benefits prematurely

A number of states have gone one step further and voluntarily withdrew from the programmes ahead of this deadline, preventing their residents from accessing the federal support. So far 26 states have announced their intention to cancel involvement in the FPUC $300 weekly unemployment benefits:

  • Alaska June 12
  • Missouri June 12
  • Mississippi June 12
  • Iowa June 12
  • Alabama June 19
  • Idaho June 19
  • Indiana June 19
  • Nebraska June 19
  • New Hampshire June 19
  • North Dakota June 19
  • West Virginia June 19
  • Wyoming June 19
  • Arkansas June 26
  • Florida June 26
  • Georgia June 26
  • Montana June 26
  • Ohio June 26
  • Oklahoma June 26
  • South Carolina June 26
  • South Dakota June 26
  • Texas June 26
  • Utah June 26
  • Maryland July 3
  • Tennessee July 3
  • Arizona July 10
  • Louisiana August 3

However out-of-work residents in a number of states have launched legal appeals against the decision, arguing that states have no right to deny them access to a federal support programme. Courts in Indiana, Maryland and Oklahoma have already ruled that the states must resume payments for unemployed resident, while challenges in Ohio, Texas, Tennessee, Florida and Arkansas are still pending.

Will President Biden extend the federal unemployment benefits?

Despite the impending end date for the additional unemployment support there is still some hope that Biden may opt to extend it further. Earlier this month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended the federal eviction moratorium through 3 October after pressure from advocacy groups and something similar could happen with the unemployment benefits.

Jenna Jerry, a senior staff attorney with the National Employment Law Project, told CNBC: “We knew covid wouldn’t be over. And it’s not. With the delta variant rising and places going back to having mask mandates, we’re taking steps backwards and ending aid when people continue to need and rely on them.”

If the benefits are allowed to lapse around 7.5 million people, and their families, will lose the $300 weekly payments from 6 September onwards. In July, around 72% of all Americans receiving any form of unemployment support were enrolled in the pandemic programmes.