Most Americans are aware that in only about a couple of weeks, the federal enhanced unemployment benefits will officially end on September 6, which is also Labor Day.
But what wasn’t exactly clear is that some state administrative rules require that the funds be halted a few days earlier as Labor Day falls on Monday and that all states pay the benefits on a weekly schedule that ends on a weekend day.
Unfortunately, for those who are relying on these checks to make ends meet, the last payable week of unemployment will be the one ending on September 4 or 5.
The state of California already has made it known that “the federal government does not allow benefit payments to be made for weeks of unemployment after September 4, even if you have a balance left on your claim at that time,” according to a statement made by California’s Employment Development Department.
A recent study conducted by the People’s Policy Project, citing data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, revealed that roughly ten million Americans on unemployment will lose those benefits beginning on September 6.
Do keep in mind that governors in about half of all states have already eliminated the enhanced $300 benefits that were approved under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
Ordinary Citizens Speak Out
Against this concerning backdrop, there have been growing calls among ordinary citizens demanding that the government offer even more financial assistance to Americans amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“For our team and other Americans who can claim unemployment, even the maximum payments will not be enough for most people to continue paying their bills—and avoid slipping into poverty,” says one highly popular Change.org petition, which has already garnered more than 2.8 million signatures, that is demanding $2,000 monthly checks.
“The facts are, even successful small businesses can’t go months with their doors closed. But supplying Americans with monthly support until they can get back on their feet can save our communities from financial ruin,” it continues.
Refunds Continue to Head Out
As for those who collected unemployment last year and paid taxes on it, be aware that the Internal Revenue Service is still working on distributing the remaining refunds from 2020 unemployment benefits. It was only a few weeks ago when the agency was able to disburse a sizeable batch of 1.5 million refunds averaging $1,686—and more checks are expected to head out.
The IRS has confirmed that since May, it has issued about nine million unemployment refunds with a value of more than $10 billion.
These particular refunds are from the waiver of federal tax on up to $10,200 of unemployment benefits, or $20,400 for married couples filing jointly, that were received by taxpayers last year.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.