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Federal unemployment benefits ended on Labor Day. But there is good news for Americans who have been waiting weeks or months for this help to arrive: They can always repay before the deadline.
Workers who have not yet applied for federal assistance can still do so, but many have less than 30 days to act.
Deferred unemployment benefits have been a common occurrence during the COVID-19 pandemic. State unemployment offices have faced obstacles such as a historic volume of claims, low staffing, outdated technology, high levels of fraud, and the implementation of new rules and programs.
Data shows that thousands of people are still waiting for help to arrive.
According to US Department of Labor data, about 19% of claimants – or about 104,000 people – whose first state benefit payment arrived in July waited at least 70 days to receive the money. (By comparison, less than 1% waited long for the pandemic.)
However, states will still pay federal benefits for eligible applicants.
Benefits currently terminating include funding for the long-term unemployed and others (such as self-employed, independent contractors, and concert workers) who are not eligible for state unemployment insurance. They also include a weekly supplement of $ 300.
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According to the California Department of Employment Development, “Any weeks of unemployment that occurred before the end of these programs can still be paid retroactively if an applicant is determined to be eligible for those weeks of benefits later.” Goes.”
Federal benefits expire on a Saturday or Sunday (before the official Monday deadline) due to their administrative rules in all states. Nearly 9 million people are expected to lose all their benefits and a further three million are expected to suffer a weekly reduction, according to figures released by the Labor Ministry on Thursday.
Michigan workers, for example, who are awaiting a state decision on their eligibility for benefits may receive these funds retrospectively, according to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunities.
According to the ministry, “all protests and decisions that are not resolved by September 4 will continue throughout the process even after federal programs end.” “Benefits will be paid to applicants who are deemed eligible. “
These people must continue to certify their benefits until September 4, the agency said.
Limited time to apply
Many unemployed people who qualify for federal benefits before Labor Day have a limited time to apply, if they haven’t already done so.
According to a September 3 memorandum released by the Department of Labor, states will have to accept new applications for unemployment assistance in the event of a pandemic for 30 days after the program ends. (The PUA program, which targets self-employed and concert workers, reportedly ended on September 4 or 5, depending on the state.)
However, workers in 26 states that have terminated some or all of federal benefits are out of luck. The 30-day application window began in June or July in those states after they left the programs; This deadline has already expired.
Long-term unemployed, eligible for emergency unemployment benefit in the event of a pandemic, also have a deadline to apply. However, the window is not that simple – it varies from state to state, depending on its respective law on late filing of claims, according to a Ministry of Labor note released in July.