Volunteers load food aid shopping bags for laid-off workers during a December 12, 2020, food distribution event in Orlando, Florida.
Paul Hennessy / NurFoto via Getty Images
Democrats are ready to send more unemployment benefits to laid-off workers. Meanwhile, some workers are still waiting for the last part, which was approved months ago.
A $ 900 billion bill from Covid was signed on Dec. 27, extending unemployment benefits to March 14 and increasing it by $ 300 a week.
In Wisconsin, officials estimate that independent workers and gig workers will not receive that extra help until April – almost four months later.
Other workers who have exhausted their state benefits just began extended assistance Thursday, according to the Department of Labor Development in Wisconsin.
Other states, such as California and Colorado, have only recently begun to pay benefits to some groups.
Workers who experience delays will repay the missed weeks and be healed.
But while they wait for the funds, unemployed individuals have to work without income support, maybe they have to pay rent or buy food.
Even with modern computer systems, there is usually a delay time.
The U.S. Department of Labor must provide guidance to states that interpret the rules in a right to relief. It sets the parameters for government agencies, which then code the updates in their systems.
There is usually also a period of testing that takes place after the programming is completed.
According to Elizabeth Pancotti, a policy adviser at Employ America, a progressive think tank, it usually takes about a month.
However, some states were able to provide assistance within a few days.
Delays was particularly pronounced for workers who had been collecting benefits since the early days of the pandemic – and who had exhausted their grant of aid through two temporary CARES Act programs before the law extended it in December.
The programs are Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, for self-employed workers, workers, freelancers and other workers who are not eligible for government assistance, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which provides additional government benefits to those who run out of their standard amount.
The Continuing Aid Act has extended these programs until March 14.
The $ 1.9 billion U.S. bailout plan of 2021, passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday, will extend it to August and increase benefits by $ 400 a week. Senate Democrats have agreed to reduce the supplement to $ 300 a week, but extend the benefits by another month until September.
Employees who have exhausted PUA benefits in Wisconsin, according to unemployment experts, seem to have the longest delays in the country compared to the December law.
California this week just started sending extra help to workers running out of PUA and PEUC benefits, the Public Employment Service said Thursday.
According to the Department of Employment, that is about 185,000 people.
And Colorado did it last week, according to to the Department of Labor and Employment.
“We know that many Coloradans are currently facing severe economic hardship and have been anxiously awaiting the ability to apply for these additional benefits,” Joe Barela, executive director of the department, said on February 7.
A new, modernized cloud-based computing system enables faster implementation of future pandemic assistance legislation, ‘Barela said.
The new system, called MyUI +, was launched in January.
The December law also offered an extra $ 100 a week to certain self-employed individuals who received a low amount of weekly assistance due to a peculiarity of unemployment rules.
Many states have not yet introduced the program called Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation. This is a new program created by the December Act, which requires agencies to veterinarian certain documents to prove the suitability of a worker.
In Virginia, for example, the $ 100 will only be available around April 26, according to the Public Service Commission. Wisconsin’s target date is April 28th. Missouri began offering the supplement Monday.
According to two, two states – Idaho and South Dakota – have decided not to host it. Mixed earners, an advocacy group.