Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits No Longer Available
As of mid-August 2021, more than 11 million people were collecting some form of unemployment. This figure included the millions of employees who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and the steps state and local governments have taken to contain it. It included millions of gig workers, contractors, and self-employed people who were collecting unemployment benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. And, it included millions who were receiving temporary federal benefits under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program because they were still unemployed when their state benefits ran out.
Expired Federal Pandemic Unemployment Programs
However, these federal programs ended on September 6, 2021. In some states, they ended even earlier: About half the states decided to stop participating in these programs before they expired.
For weeks of unemployment beginning on or after September 6, 2021, these benefits will no longer be available. That means:
- Benefits will no longer be available to the millions of gig workers, contractors, and freelancers who were receiving unemployment through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
- Benefits will no longer be available through the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which offered additional benefits to those who were still unemployed when they used up their state benefits.
- Benefits will be reduced for those who were receiving Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, a program that offered $300 extra per week to those collecting unemployment.
All told, experts estimate that more than seven million people lost their benefits on Labor Day, 2021. More than two million more saw their benefits cut by $300 per week.