As the federal pandemic unemployment benefits are scheduled to end on Sept. 4 for over 2 million Californians, officials in the state are alerting its residents to be prepared.
California, which has helped state households survive the COVID-19 pandemic with several programs, would witness the most people lose coverage. The Employment Development Department or EDD is suggesting that those who have been receiving unemployment aid should start looking for jobs.
UNEMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS THAT WILL END IN CALIFORNIA
California still has access to regulate state unemployment insurance payment and other assistance and support through SNAP, rental assistance, low-cost health insurance, and cash aid for families with children. Those who have used the regular benefits may get the Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED) benefits although FED-ED will already end on September 11 and even a claimant has a balance on their claim, there will be no payments.
There are four federal unemployment compensation programs that will instantly end on September 4 but, any weeks of payments that can still be collected before the end date can still be paid retroactively “if a claimant is determined to be eligible for those weeks of benefits,” according to the EDD.
The four federal unemployment compensation programs are The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA), the Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation program (PEUC), the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation program (MEUC), and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program (FPUC).
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA) provides financial support to people who wouldn’t normally qualify for state jobless aid including gig workers and those who were not able to work because of the pandemic for the reason that they have to look after their children or dependents. According to the Century Foundation, the end of this assistance program will affect over a million workers in California who are benefiting from these payments.
Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation program (PEUC) permits a few additional weeks of unemployment for those who already used their regular benefits. The Century Foundation estimates that there will be approximately a million claimants that will be affected once the PEUC expires.
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation program (MEUC) gives an additional $100 every week to people who have income from part-time wage employment and self-employment. This program was also implemented by EDD in July and payments can be retroactive to December 27, 2020. Around 350, 000 Californians may be qualified as per the Sacrament Bee. Those who received support from PEUC, FED-ED, or regular unemployment compensation can apply except those who are getting support from PUA or training extensions benefits.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program (FPUC) gives weekly income support of $300 for those who are not working. FPUC was able to raise the wage replacement in California that was provided by the state unemployment insurance benefits from 34% to almost 68%. When this program ends, it will affect all Californians receiving any sort of unemployment compensation which will greatly affect household finances.
With the programs ending in a few days, getting back to work will be difficult for people who were only depending on these programs. There are around 3 million people who are receiving some sort of jobless aid in California with a rate of 7.6%.
Micheal Bernick, former EDD director and now a research DIRECTOR FOR THE California Workforce Association told ABC that the economy changed when the COVID-19pandemic started because of factors such as workers being scared to work and acquiring the virus, and lots of businesses have closed.