Up to 2 million workers could be left with no unemployment benefits for weeks as states reprogram systems
Up to 2 million workers may not receive unemployment benefits until next month as states reprogram their unemployment systems. The delay comes nearly two weeks after President Joe Biden's $ 1.9 trillion aid deal expanded many programs for the unemployed.
"We never want to delay, we never want the benefits to be late," Andrew Stettner, an unemployment insurance expert and senior fellow at the Century Foundation who submitted the estimate, told Yahoo Money. "It's difficult for people with no other income ... bills are due and landlords are concerned. We want people to keep getting that money."
Under the latest deal, unemployed workers would continue to receive the additional $ 300 per week of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Benefit (FPUC) through September 6. MEUC) programs have all been expanded within the framework of the legislation.
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Unemployment benefits paid fell by $ 1.35 billion last week due to delays in resuming programs, according to the Treasury Department. Similar delays occurred in the implementation of the $ 900 billion economic agreement signed in December when the performance of nearly 6 million people was delayed, according to Stettner.
Delay in additional weekly benefits
The biggest hiccups revolve around the additional $ 300 weekly perks. So far, only 12 states have started distributing the additional weekly unemployment benefits, including California, New York, and Delaware. Previously, when the programs restarted, it took some states more than a month to get them in place.
The Department of Labor recently said this time around it could take many states until mid-April or later to implement the new regulations.
"I would expect most states to bring out the $ 300 by next week - if they don't come out this week," said Stettner. "I would expect that some of the states that faced challenges last time around will face challenges again."
The last time the programs restarted, $ 17.6 billion in unemployment benefits - or 38% less than what unemployed Americans should be receiving - didn't hit their bank accounts on time in January, an analysis by The Century Foundation found.
People walk through a neighborhood of Manhattan on February 5, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images)
"Some states were not paid from the last bill"
It also takes longer to implement the PEUC program, which provides additional weeks of benefits after the regular benefits have expired, and the PUA program, which provides benefits for workers who are normally not entitled to unemployment.
Workers who already have PUA and PEUC and are in benefit status will receive their payments by April 10, when the majority of states are expected to have restarted their programs. Those who ran out of weeks on these programs are likely to experience a delay.
The legislation also expands the MEUC (Mixed Earner Supplement) program created under the December Economic Act. But, according to Stettner, this program is also faced with considerable delays. Among them, some “mixed income” earners who receive income from both traditional (W-2) and self-employed (1099) sources would receive an additional $ 100 in addition to the additional $ 300 per week by September 6.
"Some states didn't get paid on the last bill," he said. "These new benefits can add to the delay."
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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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