President Donald Trump signed a COVID-19 relief/funding package Sunday night, restarting the $300 weekly bonus unemployment payments. The bill includes 10 weeks of unemployment benefits along with the extra checks, a one-month extension to the eviction moratorium and a second round of stimulus checks.
The president hesitated on signing the $2.3 trillion bill for five days after he was critical over the $600 stimulus check and instead called for $2,000 payments. House Democrats attempted to pass a standalone bill last Thursday to send out the larger checks but were blocked by Republicans. Another vote is set for Monday in the House of Representative on the Caring for Americans with Supplemental Help (CASH) Act of 2020, which would increase the stimulus checks to $2,000.
Due to President Trump’s delay, unemployed workers will likely not see the $300 bonus checks for at least a week, if not more. The start date for the extension of unemployment benefits had been Dec. 26, which already passed. Also, states are awaiting guidance from the US Department of Labor on how funds will be allocated. Although many unemployed workers will continue to receive benefits from their respective states, those 12 million receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance will not.
We’re here to answer as many questions as we can, given the current information available, including if the weekly unemployment bonus would include retroactive payments and who would meet the eligibility requirements. We recently updated this story with new details.
When are the $300 bonus weekly unemployment checks starting again?
The first date for the bill to go into effect, Dec. 26, has come and gone. The delay could be a week or more depending on each state’s process. Checks are authorized to last until March 14, 2021, but there is an overflow period that lasts until April 5, 2021, which means a person who finds themselves unemployed in early 2021 would receive an additional three weeks of aid.
Will the $300 weekly unemployment bonus be retroactive?
While the language of the bill does not specify if the unemployment bonus is retroactive or not, that does not appear to be the case, The Washington Post reported. This means they’re likely won’t be a federally instituted lump sum payment to make up for previous weeks of not receiving a $300 check.
What is Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation?
In the original CARES Act, the bill had unemployed workers either get their benefits from the state through unemployment insurance or through a federal program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Someone who worked as a gig worker, self-employed, freelancer or contractor who doesn’t typically receive unemployment benefits if they’re laid off could receive PUA instead.
In the language of the bill, however, someone who earned a combination of income from a traditional job and employment as a contractor would either receive the unemployment insurance payment or the PUA, but not a combination of both.
With Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation, a person who made more money from their self-employment or contracting job — that requires a 1099 form — could receive an extra $100 a week. For example, let’s say you made $50,000 in 2019, which was split with $30,000 coming from a contractor job and $20,000 from a part-time job at a company. If you were laid off, the state unemployment office would calculate whether you would receive benefits for the $30,000 via PUA or $20,000 via unemployment insurance but not a combination of the two.
While someone who worked a traditional job and makes $50,000 a year in New York would receive $480 a week from unemployment insurance, by having a mix of the two, you would get the greater of the two different amounts which would be the PUA of $288 a week rather than the $280 from unemployment.
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation will now give that person an extra $100, but only if the state participates. It may be some time before states will determine whether they will or not after the bill gets passed…Read more>>