Effective September 6th, three federal unemployment programs have officially expired. These programs include Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). Through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, gig workers and freelancers, who were usually not eligible for unemployment, received up to 79 weeks of unemployment benefits. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation gave additional unemployment benefits for up to 53 weeks. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation allocated an additional $300 per week to unemployment payments.
The loss of these benefits will affect around 7.5 million Americans according to a recent study by a progressive public policy firm.
Anyone relying heavily on federal unemployment benefits, such as caregivers and gig workers are most likely to be the ones affected by the expiration of these federal programs. According to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor statistics, Black workers in the front line will be affected the most with women and Latinx frontline workers also significantly affected.
What to Do When Enhanced Unemployment Benefits End
- Look into state programs. Most states differ in the unemployment programs they offer, so it is important to stay look out for updates and changes. Although these federal benefits are expiring, traditional unemployment programs with different rules, timelines, and weekly benefit amounts will be offered at the state level.
- Find a temporary job. Individuals can replace the income previously received through federal unemployment by finding a survival job. A survival job is a job that pays enough to cover bills but isn’t in the person’s desired field. With extra unemployment benefits ending in the midst of a difficult job market, a survival job can provide some financial stability. These jobs can be sought online or by checking with a local unemployment office.
- Work with what you have. Enforcing a strict budget makes sure no money goes to waste. Trimming down the budget to only include the essentials can buy time until a steady source of income is obtained.