What Happens if Enhanced Unemployment Runs Out Before Extended Again

This article was last updated on March 4

With President Biden and Congressional Democrats still working overtime to pass their $1.9 Trillion dollar stimulus package, which includes additional stimulus check payments and a further 24-week extension to federal enhanced unemployment benefits – PUA, PEUC and FPUC programs – many are worried that the final bill’s passage and implementation could go past March 14th, 2021. This is the date when the current funding for enhanced unemployment benefits, passed under the $900 billion CAA COVID Relief Bill, would expire.

Claimants with remaining balances or weeks left to claim will have until April 10th to use up any remaining weeks, but for any new claims or those who have exhausted benefits they will only have state funded unemployment benefits to rely on from March 14th, which many current PUA recipients would not even qualify for. You can see the summary table below for how a potential delay (past March 14th) in passing additional unemployment extensions could affect different claimant groups. I have also discussed this in this recent YouTube Video.

The above table should only be considered as a general guideline given program implementations vary by state and several states have additional unemployment programs or extended benefits (where unemployment levels are above prescribed levels) that are available to local residents. But as with the prior extension to March 14th, 2021 under the CAA program, those who had exhausted their benefits will likely see the largest impact if the stimulus bill that includes the 24-week extension is delayed.

Further because the Department of Labor (DOL) has to codify the final bill’s legislative text into guidelines that states UI agencies use to implement, any delays with getting the Biden stimulus bill could mean a repeat of the extended delays many claimants faced (which some are still experiencing) with the CAA extension earlier this year. I hope that the impact is less this time, but I fear history may repeat itself.

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