Enhanced unemployment benefits part of the federal government’s $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill will likely end after July.
The bill, which was signed into law on March 27 as the CARES Act, increased weekly payments for the unemployed by $600, according to CNBC. It also increased the duration of these payments and extended them to previously ineligible workers like the self-employed.
Per the law, these bonus payments are set to end after July 31, with some states ending them sooner, on July 25.
Almost 18 million individuals in the country are currently collecting unemployment benefits, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Labor Department.
As of May 7, more than 33 million Americans have filed unemployment claims.
Currently, the $600 in extra cash paid to the unemployed under the CARES Act is covered by the federal government.
This bump is in addition to weekly benefits paid by states.
According to data from the Labor Department, workers received an average of $378 per week in state unemployment benefits before the COVID-19 relief bill.
After it was passed, the law increased the weekly average to $978 per week, an increase of 159%.
Unless the benefits are extended by new legislation, jobless pay will revert to the amount paid on a state level after July.
Workers who are furloughed and laid off after the enhancements end won’t be eligible for the federally provided weekly bonus of $600, according to experts.
The unemployment insurance payouts under the relief bill are the most generous in the history of the program, which dates back to the 1930s, said Gary Burtless, an economist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
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