This is a scary outcome for unemployed workers currently getting the extra $300 weekly unemployment payment (FPUC program) in addition to the federally funded unemployment benefits under the PUA, PEUC or EB programs.
At this stage a majority of states are ending benefits early, with more to follow in the coming days. See the full list in the table below with state specific termination dates.
It is expected that nearly 50% of unemployed workers will lose access to federally funded pandemic benefits following legal directives by Governors to their state unemployment agencies to terminate participation in one or all of the recently extended federal, pandemic-related unemployment programs.
Why are states cancelling unemployment benefits early?
The driver or rationale behind the early termination of benefits (especially the extra $300 p/week) is to alleviate the labor shortage many business’ in these states’ are seeing as pandemic restrictions are lifted. Businesses owners in particular are saying that hiring workers is a challenge due in large part to the enhanced and supplementary unemployment programs funded by Washington.
By refusing to take and participate in federal funding the goal is cut off this federal financial assistance and to stop incentivizing and paying workers to stay at home rather than encouraging them to return to the workplace.
However there is also a large political element to the early cancellation of benefits, given the vast majority of states doing this are led by Republican governors.
What Does This Mean For My Claim?
After the specified state termination date shown in the table below, claimants getting PUA, PEUC or Extended Benefits (EB) won’t be able to get paid under these programs. Which also means they won’t then be eligible for the $300 FPUC weekly payment.
Note that some states are only cancelling the extra $300 (FPUC) weekly payment, and leaving the PUA and PEUC extensions in place until September 6th, 2021. Benefits under the PUA and PEUC payout up to the states maximum unemployment benefit amount, but cover a broader of workers not generally covered by traditional state unemployment.
For states that cancel participation in ALL pandemic unemployment programs (PUA, PEUC and FPUC) jobless claimants will only have access to the pre-pandemic regular state unemployment, which many won’t qualify for if they have been unemployed for over 12 months. This will especially hit PUA claimants who don’t qualify for state unemployment.
This could mean the average received would drop from $630 per week (including the $300 FPUC) to $0. According to the Century Foundation a total of 4 million laid-off Americans will forgo roughly $23.3 billion in benefits, due to the number of early program terminations.
Which States Are Ending Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Early Including the $300 Weekly Payment?
The following states have officially announced plans to end one or all pandemic unemployment programs and associated payments early. If your state is not listed here they will be keeping benefits till the current September 6th, 2021 expiry (or week ending September 4th in most states).
I will keep updating the table as more information or state announcements come to hand. You can stay connected via the options below.
|States Ending Unemployment Early||Programs Ending||Termination Date|
|Alabama||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 19th, 2021|
|Alaska||$300 FPUC||June 12th, 2021|
|Arizona||$300 FPUC||July 10th, 2021|
|Arkansas||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 26th, 2021|
|Florida||$300 FPUC||June 26th, 2021|
|Georgia||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 26th, 2021|
|Idaho||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 19th, 2021|
|Indiana||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 19th, 2021* (Legal Challenge)|
|Iowa||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 12th, 2021|
|Louisiana||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||July 31st, 2021|
|Maryland||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||July 3rd, 2021* (Legal Challenge; Still paying)|
|Mississippi||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 12th, 2021|
|Missouri||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 12th, 2021|
|Montana||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 26th, 2021|
|Nebraska||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 19th, 2021|
|New Hampshire||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 19th, 2021|
|North Dakota||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 19th, 2021|
|Ohio||$300 FPUC||June 26th, 2021|
|Oklahoma||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 26th, 2021|
|South Carolina||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 30th, 2021|
|South Dakota||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 26th, 2021|
|Tennessee||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||July 3rd, 2021|
|Texas||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 26th, 2021|
|Utah||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 26th, 2021|
|West Virginia||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 19th, 2021|
|Wyoming||$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC||June 19th, 2021|
Alabama (ADOL) will also be cutting off the $300 weekly payment in addition to PUA and PEUC programs from the week ending June 19th, 2021. Governor Kay Ivey made this announcement in light of the 3.8% unemployment rate recently recorded, the lowest in the Southeast states, and significantly lower than the national rate. Like other governors cutting off the federally funded unemployment programs, the main reason being used is that the extra federal benefits are contributing to a labor shortage that are risking the state’s ongoing economic recovery.
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy announced that his state will cut the $300 supplementary weekly benefit starting June 12th, 2021 and that the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development would cease paying the $300 supplement on existing and new pandemic unemployment claims after this date. Note that Alaska, like some other states is still keeping the PUA and PEUC programs in place till September 6th.
Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson Arkansas has announced a decision for AK DWS to to opt-out of ALL the federally funded unemployment supplemental programs ($300 FPUC, PUA and PEUC) from June 26, 2021 to “…get Arkansans back on the job so that we can [the] economy back to full speed.” Arkansas’ unemployment rate was 4.4% in March 2021, only about 0.5% above the level at the start of the pandemic in March 2020. It peaked at 10% during the pandemic.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced the DES will be stopping payment of the extra $300 a week in pay for unemployed workers after week ending July 10th, 2021 in order to encourage people to return to work. Note that Arizona will continue participation in the PUA and PEUC programs until the planned end date of Sep 4th, 2021. In lieu of ending the $300 FPUC payment early a one-time bonus of $2,000 will be paid to eligible individuals who return to the workforce and get a full-time job, while those who return part-time will receive $1,000.
Florida will be stopping payment of the extra $300 a week in pay for unemployed workers after week ending June 26th, 2021, but will continue participation in the PUA and PEUC programs until the planned end date of Sep 4th, 2021.
Idaho is opting out from June 20th, 2021, which means the last week of benefits is the week ending June 19th.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb will end pandemic benefits for jobless Hoosiers in his state after the week ending June 19th, 2021. However a legal challenge was mounted against the governors directive, which was upheld. However the state is appealing that decision and DWD has not yet resumed paying benefits. No claimant action is needed.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) announced claimants in her state will only receive pandemic and supplementary unemployment benefits program until week ending June 12th, 2021. The Iowa Workforce Development which administers UI payments will turn off ALL benefits for existing and new jobless workers after June 13th 2021. This includes the $300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC and Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC).
Louisiana has become the first democrat governor led state to end pandemic benefits early with Governor John B. Edwards eliminating the PUA, PEUC and $300 FPUC program on week ending July 31st, 2021. To provide some relief the maximum traditional state unemployment benefit was raised by $28.
Maryland will end participation in all federally funded unemployment benefit programs after July 3rd, 2021.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has announced that unemployed claimants in this state will no longer be eligible to get any of the federally funded pandemic benefits from as early as June 12th, 2021. MDES will also be reinstituting pre-pandemic enforcement of all eligibility requirements for any individual to receive unemployment benefits (including work search requirements and exclusion or those without proof income).
Missouri has also announced it will end all federal pandemic-related unemployment benefits by the week ending June 12th, 2021. Governor Mike Parson instructed that the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR) to end the programs and cancel all claims in these programs in order to remove incentives for people to stay out of the workforce. This is based on feedback from business owners who say they are struggling not because of COVID-19 but because of labor shortages resulting from these “excessive” federal unemployment programs.
Montana Governor Gianforte also recently announced his states participation in ALL federal unemployment programs will end on June 27th, 2021 (last week of benefits is week ending June 26th). But at least this pain was offset with a $1200 return to work bonus.
Nebraska will end participation in ALL pandemic unemployment programs after July 3rd, 2021.
North Dakota will end participation in ALL pandemic unemployment programs after June 19th, 2021.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that ODJFS will stop participating in the $300 federally funded unemployment benefit programs on June 26th, 2021. However Ohio will continue to allow payments under the PUA and PEUC programs until the current expiry on the week ending September 4th, 2021.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has confirmed that extended federal unemployment benefits to Oklahomans will end early on June 26th, 2021. This was offset by an incentive plan to give up to 20,000 eligible workers who return to the workforce a one time $1200 bonus.
South Carolina’s Governor McMaster instructed the SC Dept. of Employment and Workforce (DEW) to terminate the state’s participation in ALL federal, pandemic-related unemployment programs effective June 30, 2021
South Dakota Gov. Noem instructed the South Dakota DOLR to terminate its participation in ALL of the federal government’s pandemic-related unemployment assistance programs by June 26th, 2021.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) announced his state will stop participating in ALL the federal government’s pandemic unemployment benefits programs, including the extra $300 weekly payment on July 3rd 2021. From the week of July 4th, 2021 only regular unemployment claims will be accepted by the Tennessee Department of Labor.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed that the TWC will be opting out from ALL pandemic unemployment programs and has notified the the U.S. Department of Labor that this would be effective after the week ending June 26, 2021.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox announced his state’s unemployment agency will end participation in extended federal unemployment benefit programs by the week ending June 26th, 2021. This will impact nearly 28,000 Utahans.
West Virginia is opting out of all federally funded pandemic programs from June 20th, 2021, which means the last week of benefits is the week ending June 19th, 2021
Wyoming Governor Gordon confirmed that his state will end participation in ALL COVID-era unemployment benefit programs by the week ending June 19th, 2021
It is likely that most Republican controlled and business focused states will follow suit and prematurely cancel their enhanced benefit programs, well before the September extension that is currently in place. See a summary table of the above in this article.
Proponents of keeping the extensions (mainly Democrats as this is becoming a party line issue) have argued that other reasons, including the fear of getting COVID or childcare restrictions, are more to blame than generous unemployment benefits. At this stages states like California, New York and Illinois are highly unlikely to end benefits ahead of the September 6th funded extensions.
Can States Legally Deny Claims and Prevent Unemployed Workers From Getting Benefits?
The answer is Yes. According to the US Department of Labor (DOL), “Unemployment Insurance programs are a federal/state partnership, with states responsible for accepting, processing and paying claims.” The last part is the critical part where states refuse to process and pay claims related to one or more of these enhanced federal unemployment benefit programs by providing at least 30 days’ written notice to the DOL. This is why the cessation dates below are in mid to late June for most states.
Once state stop receiving federal funding they won’t and cannot pay unemployed claimants, including accepting new claims. So even if you don’t like it, it is a legal recourse states can take to stop these payments – and many have already done this per the list below. And unfortunately the federal government (feds) cannot override unemployment cuts that many Republican led (red) states are putting in place. You can see a further discussion around this topic in this video.
Several state officials are trying to reverse the early unemployment termination decisions by appealing decisions at a state and federal level. However there have no successful appeals as yet.
Lawsuits to Sue States to Reinstate Payments?
Several groups across many states have filed lawsuits to restore federal UI benefits claiming state governors have over extended their authority or oversight over state unemployment departments. Most of have not had much luck, but in Indiana a state judge did rule that benefits should continue to paid while the case is reviewed.
The ruling justified this by saying the cessation of benefits caused “irreparable harm” to recipients’ ability to pay rent, basic medical expenses and child care. This argument is being used in other states, but with limited success.
Claimants pending a decision on a claim filed before the termination of benefits in their state will receive retroactive payments for all qualified weeks if deemed eligible for benefits. The only exception to this is if a claimant refuses an offer of suitable work during a period they claimed benefits for, in which case they may be denied payment or required to pay back benefits if already issued.
Can States Reinstate Programs?
According to the Federal Department of Labor (DOL) and Biden administration officials, states can enter into a new agreement with the DO if the date of termination has already passed. If the termination date has not passed, the state can simply inform the US Department of Labor that it is rescinding or modifying the notice it filed.
The $300 weekly FPUC program and PEUC payments to those who’ve exhausted their regular state benefits — won’t begin again until after the agreement is signed or rescinded. PUA claimants can certify for the weeks they missed so they can receive those payments.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Claimants to be Hit Hardest
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program was put in place primarily for those out-of-work Americans who are not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits and are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because of certain health or economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. This group of jobless workers are generally self-employed (e.g. independent contractors, freelancers or gig economy workers) who did not contribute taxes towards regular state unemployment (1099 wages).
The early cancellation of the PUA program in several states and reinstitution of pre-pandemic unemployment programs will exclude many current PUA claimants that don’t have regular (W2) wage income and so would be hard pressed to qualify for regular state unemployment.
I will continue to update this list and any new developments on this topic. Follow along via the options below.