State Level Unemployment Benefits Are Rapidly Expiring

Unemployment insurance varies widely state by state. Those with expiring benefits are in serious trouble.

Confusing Array of State and Federal Programs

My chart is modified from CBPP Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Policy Basics: How Many Weeks of Unemployment Compensation Are Available?

Where I show two numbers, the first number is regular state unemployment insurance and the second number (if present) represents extended benefits. 

I suggested a change in the CBPP chart as I posted above, breaking out South Carolina and noting most states have 39 or more weeks of benefits in addition to 13 weeks of PEUC,

Key Points

  1. Most states offer at least 26 weeks of unemployment insurance plus 13 or more weeks of extended benefits.  Some states offer more. States offering 30 or fewer weeks are noted. 
  2. A Federal pandemic PEUC (Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation) program kicks in after regular state programs expire. PEUC provides 13 weeks of  compensation at the paid state level but the money comes from the federal government. Every state participates in PEUC. It kicks in before extended benefits.
  3. Persons not eligible for state claims can file for the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. PUA covers gig workers and self-employed workers who are not covered by state programs. It also covers part-time workers. PUA is rife with fraud and terrible reporting.
  4. After PEUC expires, most but not all states have Extended Benefit programs also paid by the federal government but not every state is in the program. 

Extended Benefits Triggered in 41 States

CBPP notes "Extended Benefits (EB) have triggered on in 41 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Through the end of 2020, additional weeks of federal benefits are also available."

Week 32 of the Pandemic

Week 32 of the Pandemic

Unemployment Math 

  • Unemployment spiked on March 21.
  • We are in week 32 of the pandemic. 
  • The federal government provides 13 weeks of unemployment insurance to all states.
  • 32 - 13 = 19.
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