$300 Weekly Unemployment Benefits May Be Ending In These 22 States
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The pandemic is close to being in our rearview mirror, but that’s not to say that America has completely opened up or returned back to normal. In fact, a lot of Americans are still out of work and relying on weekly unemployment benefits to pay their bills. However, governors in 22 states are trying to change that.
Why would 22 states want to stop the $300 weekly unemployment benefits? According to Forbes,”more than 20 Republican governors argue that the federal benefit—which is paid on top of state benefits—is incentivizing jobless Americans to not go back to work.”
A lot of these benefits were passed through by congress at the beginning of the pandemic to add $300 more to every unemployed American‘s weekly benefit check. Congress also extended the number of weeks that people could be eligible while also extending benefits to freelancers, the self-employed and gig-economy workers, who can’t typically collect unemployment. On top of stimulus checks, these benefits have been keeping a lot of Americans above water for the last 14 months.
If these states are successful in stopping unemployment benefits starting in June, about 3.6 million Americans will be affected. That is 3.6 million Americans who likely won’t be able to find a job quickly enough to not feel the squeeze of losing those benefits.
The List of 22 States Stopping Weekly Unemployment Benefits
As you can see, the states looking to make these cuts –including Ohio and Texas — are run by Republican governors.
According to the Washington Post, the Biden administration is scrambling to “devise a way to keep paying heightened unemployment benefits to an estimated 3.6 million Americans who stand to lose them soon in Republican-led states, but Labor Department officials have come to believe that the law does not allow them to do so.”
How Is It Possible That Governors Can Stop Weekly Unemployment Benefits?
As mentioned previously, this is an attempt by GOP governors to try and force people to get back to work. According to WaPo, “the reason why the Biden administration has been so handcuffed by it is that federal lawmakers never required states to offer any of these programs — so Republican governors in recent days have announced plans to roll back their participation in an attempt to jolt their local economies.”
While you can certainly argue the case for states opening up and everyone wanting to get back to work, but removing these benefits from individuals and families that really need them is going to hurt a lot of Americans. Especially if you cut them off immediately.
[Image via Fortune]