Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits No Longer Available
During the COVID-19 pandemic, job losses skyrocketed, and the unemployment rate reached double digits. Congress responded by creating several temporary unemployment benefit programs. Many employees were eligible for unemployment because they lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and the steps state and local governments took to contain it. Millions more received temporary federal benefits under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program because they were still unemployed when their state benefits ran out. And, many gig workers, contractors, and self-employed people were temporarily eligible for unemployment benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
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.
Since September 6, 2021, these benefits have no longer been available. That means:
- Benefits are no longer available to the millions of gig workers, contractors, and freelancers who were receiving unemployment through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
- Benefits are no longer 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 have been 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.