September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Federal pandemic-era unemployment benefits end Sept. 4

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — COVID-19 cases may be ramping up but unemployment benefits are winding down, as some key coverages Congress put in place to help people out of work due to the pandemic are ending soon.

The federal unemployment benefits end Sept. 4 – a week from Saturday, meaning major cuts for over 100,000 people in our area.

To help people unemployed because of COVID-19, the federal government added an extra $300 to unemployment benefits, extended the amount of time people could collect benefits and offered coverage to people who typically don’t qualify, such as gig workers and people who work for themselves.

Traditional unemployment benefits will stand, at their normal maximum rate of $450 a week, and normal maximum duration of 26 weeks. 

But just 37% of the benefits paid last week in California were for traditional unemployment. Sixty-three percent of what people collected was those enhanced benefits that are going away.

“There’s no indication that any of these programs will be returning in any capacity, so what we have to do is we have to see what other benefits are out there that will help regular people make sure they get food on the table and make sure their health care and everything is covered,” unemployment attorney Parveen Tumber said.

Tumber points out that some industries continue to struggle, and though pandemic-related unemployment benefits are ending, other pandemic protections and safety net programs are available, including cash aid programs, rent, utility and food assistance, health care and the Golden State Stimulus payment coming to Californians next month.

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