More jobless workers sue their states for ending unemployment benefits early

Workers in Indiana, Texas and Maryland have filed lawsuits against their respective states for prematurely cutting unemployment benefits in the pandemic era, a growing movement that one expert said could thrive in some states.
Indiana was the first state where workers filed lawsuits. On Friday, Marion Superior Court Judge John Hanley temporarily reinstated state unemployment benefits pending a final decision on the case.
"Judge Hanley's decision was a breakthrough as many states have similar state laws that could be brought to justice," Andrew Stettner, unemployment insurance expert and senior fellow at the Century Foundation, told Yahoo Money. "I expect more judges to understand the facts in the cases."
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In Maryland, the unemployment union filed a class action lawsuit Thursday against Governor Larry Hogan's order to end federal programs on July 3.
"Our petition is that this order is illegal and a threat to the public good," Alec Summerfield, an attorney who represents the six unemployed workers who complained, told a press conference on Thursday. "People depend on that $ 300, even if it only takes them three months to get a job and put food on the table."
In Texas, a lawsuit was organized by two Facebook unemployment groups with over 30,000 members. The injunction filed by attorney David Sibley in the Travis County District Court against Texas Governor Greg Abbott was denied on Friday, but the two groups are reportedly intending to petition for an injunction.
Nearly 1 million workers in Texas saw their benefits slashed or zeroed after the state canceled federal programs on Saturday. The state itself is losing $ 6.5 billion in benefits.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott attends a press conference signing Senate Bills 2 and 3 at the State Capitol in Austin, Texas on June 8, 2021. (Photo by Montinique Monroe / Getty Images)
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Indiana, Texas, and Maryland are among the 26 states that ended or plan to end certain extended unemployment programs this month and early next month.
The Century Foundation estimates that more than 4 million workers will see their benefits cut by at least $ 1,200 per month, losing a total of $ 22.5 billion in potential benefits. Almost 3 in 5 workers affected by the early expiration are left with no benefits whatsoever. The federal expiry is September 6th.
Read more: The 10 Most Common Tax Mistakes - And How To Avoid Them
The benefits cut in these three states includes the additional $ 300 in weekly benefits, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for those normally not eligible for unemployment, and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which benefit from additional weeks.
"Unemployed people have made financial decisions based on promised aid and are deeply hurt by the decision to cut them," said Stettner. “As the saying goes, there should be a law against it. And maybe the law is against it. "
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Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova
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