This week, jobless workers in Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi and Missouri will no longer be eligible for the federal unemployment benefits program. Since the American Rescue Plan passed in March, the government had authorized an extra $300 in weekly checks, and had continued pandemic unemployment assistance for independent contractors and part-time employees. At least 25 state governors around the country have pledged to discontinue those benefits before they formally expire on Labor Day.
That means about 4 million jobless Americans will be left in the lurch this summer. The White House has responded by saying that states are free to make their own decisions and that the federal government won’t intervene. The long-term unemployed, as well as freelancers, could lose coverage entirely. And President Joe Biden recently indicated that he doesn’t plan to extend those benefits beyond the Sept. 6 date in other states.
You might be curious about other unemployment news while you’re here: The IRS is refunding millions to those taxed on their 2020 unemployment benefits, and some states are offering a back-to-work bonus to fill jobs. Here’s more information about the advanced child tax credit payments starting July 15 and stimulus “plus-up” payments. You might also be interested in whether the government has back pay you need to claim. This story has been updated recently.
State cutoff dates for enhanced federal unemployment benefits
Citing labor shortages, state governors say pandemic-related unemployment benefits discourage workers from taking jobs. Many economists and analysts disagree, noting that several factors are preventing people from finding suitable work — including low wages, lack of child care and fear of contracting COVID-19.
Here are the new end dates for the 25 states announcing an early halt to enhanced jobless benefits. If your state is not listed below, those benefits are set to expire on Labor Day.
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