Stimulus: Some U.S. states begin paying extra $300 in weekly unemployment benefits
At least 11 states start paying the additional $ 300 weekly unemployment benefit this week under the $ 900 billion economic agreement that came into effect in late 2020. Most states should start distributing benefits by the middle of the month.
"Most states will be operational by mid-January," Michele Evermore, senior policy analyst with the National Employment Law Project, told Yahoo Money. "There will likely be a couple of outliers that don't make it for three weeks, but I think three weeks is really the outer number."
States like Arizona, California, New York, and North Carolina are sending out the added benefit this week.
Unemployed Americans will receive an additional $ 300 per week in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Benefit (FPUC) for 11 weeks through March 14. Both Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) workers receive the additional payment that is added to their weekly core unemployment benefits.
Around eleven states are asking to pay out the additional $ 300 in weekly unemployment benefits under the $ 900 billion stimulus package. (Graphic: David Foster / Yahoo Finance)
New York has started paying the $ 300 unemployment benefit under all programs, while California has started paying the benefits only to those with regular user interfaces and not yet to unemployed people who are receiving PUA and PEUC.
Approximately 1.3 million Californians will receive the added benefit this week, according to a statement from the California Department of Employment Development, while the rest of the benefit will be distributed "as soon as the revised programming is in".
The additional payments of USD 300 will not be retroactive to Winter 2020 - as previously discussed by lawmakers - but will start in the week of December 27th. The weeks following the expiration of the additional $ 600 under the CARES Act and the additional $ 300 under the Lost Wage Assistance Program that has expired (LWA) is not covered by current legislation.
The benefits of the LWA program were quickly distributed in some states, but some states such as Nevada, Virginia, and Wisconsin took more than two months to implement the program. The process shouldn't take more than three weeks this time, Evermore said, as the LWA program was more difficult to implement.
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"They are unlikely to pay the extra $ 100"
Under the new legislation, some mixed income earners who receive income from both traditional and self-employed sources will now receive an additional $ 100 on top of the additional $ 300 per week. However, it is unknown if states have started paying this additional amount, which is more difficult to program and requires additional documentation.
"It's really unlikely that they'll pay the extra $ 100," Evermore said. "They have to find out how to get this information from people."
To qualify for the benefit, employees must earn at least $ 5,000 annually in qualified self-employment income. However, according to Evermore, it is still unclear how states will accept the new documents. The additional $ 100 will be available through March 14th.
About $ 120 billion of the $ 900 billion legislation will pour into the unemployment system, according to the Federal Responsible Budget Committee. In addition to the additional weekly perks, the Stimulus Deal also extends the original PUA and PEUC program benefits by 11 weeks and waives overpayments on some programs.
In some states, aside from the extra $ 300 a week, workers with PUA and PEUC can still see a drop in their regular unemployment benefits as the legislation was signed into law one day after some programs ended. According to Evermore, it could take some time to reprogram them.
Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova.
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