The Unemployment Pandemic is Far From Over

As you can see from the graphic below, the PUA and PEUC programs make-up nearly 70% of unemployment benefits paid over the last 12 months. These programs, in addition to the $300 to $600 weekly boost, have helped tens of millions of people and their families get through the worst economic crisis in over a century.

However when these federally funded programs officially end in September, unless an unlikely extension is approved, the main option left to jobless workers will be traditional state unemployment.

With unemployment levels still above pre-pandemic levels, there is a real concern that the impending end of enhanced pandemic unemployment benefits with no new stimulus payments on the horizon, millions of jobless workers could be left in financial ruin as economic and job growth may stall in the coming months as new COVID strains wreak havoc.

The biggest concern however is that those who got benefits under the PUA program, such as freelancers and gig workers, would not qualify for regular state unemployment which requires a W2 or some proof of employer based income. This is going to potentially leave millions without any benefits and no recourse for getting regular state unemployment benefits.

States that have ended benefits early are already facing backlash and law suits from jobless workers and advocate groups, but are holding firm that the number of unfilled vacancies support the early termination of benefits.

Proponents of keeping benefits going say that some workers are unable to return to jobs just yet due to fear of falling ill or difficulty accessing child care. Estimates suggest that nearly 75% of jobless workers in these states have no access to any form of unemployment benefits.

While it’s too early to say if this is the case, there is little doubt from the comments below and across this site that the unemployment pandemic is far from over.

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6 thoughts on “The Unemployment Pandemic is Far From Over”

  1. Glass half full girl thinks PUA may extend until after November NJ elections in part due to Delta variant.

  2. really thank you for trying to give me information on payments and such for my PUA or unemployment or working but I did not file my taxes personally somebody talk me into doing it for me by which I was working with my brother at his house if you consider that work all it was really was he gave me money because I had no other option but to sit at his house with him and his child or sometimes my cousin would come over but they never left me alone by myself to where I was capable because my mentality does not understand a lot of stuff so they were just really helping me out with income that I really did not even have to file a tax is on it I don’t know what the man that does the taxes actually estimated income on because the income that I made was yes they gave me $140 a week but I simply stayed at my brothers house and helped him under their supervision because they felt bad for me having no income and when I filed for disability I keep getting denied I can’t even function properly to make my own decisions with everything around me causing me to relapse on drugs and then have a therapist and all the stuff I’m about to go crazy and everybody don’t understand I have no way of making money so if whatever you say payment I’m not approved for I don’t know what to do to get approved for anything honestly everybody has to help me to figure all this mumbo-jumbo language where they’re talking all this big stuff that I don’t understand I’m so sorry to bother you

  3. Wonderful article. You drive home the highest problem. Oh you really drive it home. We in PUA have no recourse. My company folded and come Sept I CANNOT file like everybody else. I understand I am not in the State’s loop but we have nothing after Sept 5. Nothing. Really a sad situation. Sure I knew it was coming but help a little longer Wolf of course helped. Great article. I know we have no extension coming.

  4. I have been receiving regular UI and the additional benefits PEUC since I started claiming March of 2020. I now am on the supposed final extension that ends with the week ending Sept 4th ( in NJ ) for the additional $300 boost. At that time I will still have enough funds in my account for an additional 2 weeks of regular UI, Will I loose those last two weeks ? If either yes or no, Do I have any other option to continue to receive at least my regular UI benefits? I await your kind reply.


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