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Cares Act Extended

Yesterday, I commented About 14 Million People Lost All Unemployment Benefits On Dec 26

That changed later in the day when Under Bipartisan Pressure Trump Signed the Bill.

National Law Review

The National Law Review has a recap of what expired and what was revived. 

What Expired

  • The PEUC and PUA benefit programs were slated to end on (or in many states, shortly before) December 31.
  • The $600 weekly supplement benefit payment under FPUC expired at the end of July. 
  •  Although the President signed into law a lesser benefit called Lost Wage Assistance earlier this year, such benefits were only available for a limited time and there has otherwise been no replacement for the weekly supplemental payments.

Revived Programs

  1. FPUC: The bill revives FPUC, but reduces the supplemental weekly benefit by half. As a result, individuals who are unemployed and receiving any unemployment benefits will now be entitled to an additional $300 in benefits for each week of unemployment between December 26, 2020 and March 14, 2021.
  2. PEUC: The bill extends PEUC by providing for up to 24 weeks of additional unemployment benefits to eligible individuals who have exhausted the unemployment benefits available under state law. Before the CARES Act, many states capped their benefits at 26 weeks. The CARES Act provided an additional 13 weeks of PEUC benefits. With the newest extension to 24 weeks, eligible recipients in many states can now can now receive up to 50 weeks benefits between state programs and PEUC. These extended benefits are also available through March 14, 2021. After March 14, 2021, new PEUC claimants will not be eligible for the extra weeks of benefits, but individuals who had been receiving PEUC benefits as of March 14, 2021 will be eligible to continue to receive benefit payments through April 4, 2021. 
  3. PUA: As with PEUC, the bill extends PUA benefits until March 14, 2021. After March 14, 2021, new claimants will no longer be permitted to apply for PUA benefits, but eligible individuals who were receiving PUA benefits as of that date will continue to receive benefits until April 5, 2021. Also like PEUC, the duration of PUA benefits for eligible individuals has been extended from 39 weeks (under the CARES Act) to a total of up to 50 weeks.

One-Time Checks

In addition to the revived programs, the bill authorized one-time payments of $600 to those qualifying persons.

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  • Individuals with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 in 2019 will receive the full $600 payment. 
  • Couples with an adjusted gross income up to $150,000 would receive $1,200. 
  • Benefits drop by $5 per every $100 over the limits. 
  • That makes the cutoff $87,000 for individuals and  $174,000 for couples.  
  • An individual making $86,900 or a Couple making $173,900 would get a check for $5.00.
  • Those who are eligible and have dependent children under the age of 17 get an extra $600 per qualified dependent.

Dead Don't Qualify

The dead do not qualify for benefits.

This may sound obvious, but in the last go around, a GAO Study found the "Treasury and IRS did not use the death records to stop payments to  deceased individuals for the first three batches of payments."

As a result, "Almost 1.1 million payments totaling nearly $1.4 billion had gone to  decedents."

Trumpian Battle

President Trump is not happy with $600 checks. He wants to send out $2,000 checks to qualified persons. 

Although he signed the bill, Trump no demands Congress write a new bill with a higher amount. 

Strange Bedfellows

Trump is aligned with AOC and Nancy Pelosi on sending out big checks.

For more details of Trump's dispute with Congress that goes far beyond just money into other demands, please see An Override and Blockages Are On the Way in Congress