Unemployment benefits have ended for millions of Americans. These programs can help

  Unemployment benefits have ended for millions of Americans.  These programs can help

People line up in Louisville, Ky., As the Kentucky Labor Office reopens 13 regional career centers for in-person UI services on April 15, 2021.

Amira Karad | Reuters

After nearly a year and a half, extended federal unemployment insurance during the coronavirus pandemic expired this weekend.

According to a Century Foundation estimate, that means some 9 million people will lose all benefits and another 3 million people will lose $ 300 in weekly checks.

The end of federal unemployment insurance programs comes as the delta version of the coronavirus threatened economic recovery from the pandemic and widespread lockdowns to curb the disease last year.

At the same time, some other pandemic era programs that were recently extended and those that are still out of work, or may make up some of the extra money lost. Of course, many of these programs have specific eligibility requirements, so not all unemployed Americans will necessarily have access to them.

Here’s what unemployed Americans can count on in the coming months.

1. Protection against expulsion from the state

Although the Supreme Court has rejected the most recent extension of the federal eviction ban, tenants in some states may still be protected by a local moratorium.

States like California, Illinois, New Mexico, and New York have eviction restrictions that protect tenants for a few more months.

In addition, people at risk of eviction should apply for rental assistance if they have not already done so. Even though the federal moratorium on evictions is no longer in effect, having just one pending request for government assistance can help tenants stay in their units longer – states like Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Oregon and Washington State have adopted such rules. has adopted.

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2. Nutritional benefits

Beginning in October, the benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, will increase in all areas for the first time since 1975. The average adjustment would be an increase of about 25% from levels in the past. ‘before the pandemic.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average increase would be $ 36.24 per person per month, or about $ 1.19 more per day. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the average monthly profit per capita was around $ 121.

“This is very important for low-income families with children,” said Lauren Bauer, an economics fellow at the Brookings Institution and an associate in The Hamilton Project.

For those who have already received SNAP benefits, no further action is required to receive the boost in October. If you may be eligible for SNAP but are not currently receiving it, you can apply for assistance through your place of residence.

There are also other nutritional benefits that will help children. During the summer, electronic transfers of benefits continue for eligible children. According to Bauer, in the fall, schools will offer free universal meals to all children, benefiting many more children than usual.

3. Student loan payment break

In August, the U.S. Department of Education extended the moratorium on federal student loan payments and interest for the last time until January 31.

This means that some 42 million borrowers with student loans will not have to make payments on most federal loans until next February and their balances will not increase.

In the meantime, those worried they might not be able to resume their payments in February, or who were paying that much per month, should check with their student loan officers now. They may be able to change their payment plan, which means they have to pay less each month.

4. Improved child tax credit

For those with qualifying children, the child tax credit may provide additional relief when unemployment insurance ends. In August, the IRS and the US Treasury Department sent nearly $ 15 billion in monthly advances to 61 million children.

This was the second of six installments of the enhanced child tax credit, which began in July. The credit increase increased the current benefit from $ 2,000 to $ 3,000 and added a premium of $ 600 for children under 6 for the 2021 tax year.

Half of the credit is distributed to families in monthly installments from July to December – for families receiving full credit, it’s $ 300 per month for children under 6 and $ 250 for children ages 6 to 17 years.

According to the IRS and the Treasury, the average payment in August was $ 428. Families are expected to receive four more monthly payments by the end of the year and will get the second part of the credit when they file their 2021 tax return next year.

more help on the table

There may be more help along the way in the months to come. The $ 3.5 trillion budget proposal released by Democrats would expand several social safety net programs and bring more relief to Americans.

This will particularly benefit low-income workers and people with children. If passed, the budget would expand the child tax credit, the working income tax credit, the child care and dependents tax credit, and paid family and medical leave. , as foreseen in the plan.

It will also expand Universal Pre-K for ages 3 and 4, expand child care benefits for working families, and make community college tuition free.

Of course, the back and forth over the law continues as Democrats rush to write down the details, which could change.

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