$600 weekly unemployment benefits expire, lawmakers still debating stimulus bill

Coronavirus

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/AP) — 30 million Americans will be waking up to expired unemployment benefits as the Senate has adjourned for the weekend without coming to an agreement over the next stimulus bill.

People who have been out of work during the coronavirus pandemic will go from receiving $930 to $330 in unemployment pay.

Democrats, republicans and The White House are negotiating. Some democrats want to extend the $600 benefit into next year. Senate republicans believe these unemployment benefits are discouraging people from looking for work. They have released a proposal to reduce the benefits.

Studies show about half of U.S. workers earn more in unemployment than they did working. Others believe if people don’t return to work, employers will lose their PPP loans.

In Virginia, the number of initial unemployment claims is on the rise. The Virginia Employment Commission reported an uptick of 17 percent or nearly 6,000 more claims since earlier this month.

The additional $600 unemployment benefit expired last week in Virginia.

President Donald Trump has supported a republican plan to extend unemployment benefits short term while working on a larger relief package.

What can you do now?

Here are a few things you can do as the $600 extra benefit comes to an end:

  • Continue certifying for unemployment benefits. Inform your state’s unemployment office of your unemployment eligibility. You’ll typically do this every week or two, depending on where you live. If the supplemental benefit gets renewed, it’s possible that it will be applied retroactively. Certifying your unemployment can keep you in the system and help you avoid missing out on funds.
  • Seek help with your bills. If you’re concerned about missing payments or getting evicted due to lost income, contact your lenders, utility providers and landlord to find out your options. Many companies are offering financial assistance during the crisis.
  • Work on your budget. Adjust your budget to account for the change in income. List your necessary expenses so you can anticipate what it’ll cost to cover the basics and trim additional expenses where you can. If you have an emergency fund, now could be the time to use it.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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