- The coronavirus has left millions of Americans without a source of income.
- As a result, the number of unemployment claims earlier this year reached levels the U.S. had never seen before.
- The $600 bump in unemployment benefits expired on July 31, but 30 states have been approved to issue an additional $300 in weekly benefits.
The economic downturn ushered in by the coronavirus pandemic is hard to overstate. In what seemed like a blink of an eye, millions of Americans earlier this year found themselves jobless, stuck at home, and with no avenues to seek employment elsewhere. With many Americans struggling to make ends meet, the number of unemployment claims around the country jumped to record levels.
To help alleviate the financial predicament many Americans find themselves still struggling with, President Trump back in March signed a $2 million stimulus package that included a $600 increase in unemployment benefits. The $600 increase expired on July 31 but new benefits are on the way. As you may have heard, FEMA recently approved a $300 bump in unemployment benefits for individuals in about 30 states. Some states have yet to apply for the increase, so that figure may change going forward.
As it stands now, the states that have been approved to dole out an extra bit of cash in unemployment benefits is as follows:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Washington state.
States and areas that have indicated a plan to apply for the unemployment bump include Delaware, the District of Columbia, Kansas, and Illinois.
While it remains unclear when states will begin issuing the increased payments, the following states should have things in order by mid-September at the latest: Arizona, Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Tenessee, and Louisiana.
As a point of interest, Montana and Vermont will be bumping up their unemployment checks by a cool $400, with every other state sticking with the $300 figure.
To this point, CNN explains:
Initially, the White House suggested that federal funds would be used for extra $300 weekly payments, and that the states themselves would add another $100 — for a total of $400 per week. But most states say they are already struggling with tight budgets as they cope with they pandemic and its fallout, and they cannot afford the extra $100. As a result, most recipients will be getting just the extra $300, on top of whatever unemployment payment they’re already eligible for in their state.
Interestingly, South Dakota has indicated that it has no plans to apply for the $300 increase in light of the fact that its economy is already on the road to recovery.