Where did my $600 Pandemic Pay Go?

What happened to my Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)?

As of July 31, 2020 the extra $600 weekly benefit will be expiring. However for those in Michigan due to the way the state calculates the unemployment weekly period the week of July 20, 2020 is the last week you will receive the extra $600 payment.

The Federal Government added an “extra” separate payment of $600 per unemployment week to those who qualified for unemployment on their respective state unemployment insurance programs. Many states included expanded claim coverage reasons like losing your job if you were an independent contractor or “gig” worker like an uber or lyft driver for example.

Are their plans to extend the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) or replace it?

Currently there are not any viable legislation in the works that will expand the weekly coverage of this benefit or replace it with something that is more “tolerable” for business owners that have been able to hire workers for an equivalent of state or Federal government minimum wages which in most cases is under $15 per hour.

The Business Lobby is strong

The endless complaints from business owners is that with the PEUC payout they were forced to compete with a workforce that is safer at sheltering in place at home from COVID-19 than one that is forced to work for less than $15 per hour and risk unknown and fully understood long lasting health affects of COVID-19. Additionally in many cases unemployed workers were getting state unemployment funds too, for example in Michigan you could have been getting for example a maximum payout of $362 per week in Michigan Unemployment Insurance payments plus the PEUC, for a total of $962 in weekly income. This is the equivalent of $24.05 per hour assuming you do not pay withholding upfront, and that you either don’t need to cover for insurance, or maybe never had it to begin with.

Since the handful of open fast-food restaurants, grocery stores, and hardware stores don’t want to be paying workers the equivalent of $50,024 per year they will just lobby their representatives to kill this type of payment off.

We highlight some of the legislation issues here in COVID-19 Legislation for Main Street.

The July 2020 consensus is that as the Presidential Election is now only 120 days away, Republicans, and Democrats will find a way to satisfy main street Americans who are still losing employment by about 1 million per week post shelter in place shutdown orders being enacted and lifted.

January 2021 update – there is now a $300 weekly benefit read about it here.