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President-elect Joe Biden’s pandemic relief package would extend income support for millions of unemployed workers through September 2021, increasing unemployment benefits by $ 400 per week, according to a survey received from CNBC.
Biden would also automatically phase out higher unemployment benefits over time, tying aid to economic and health conditions as per the plan.
Such a move would relieve Congress from devising new relief measures every few months, avoiding a welfare cliff like the one experienced by a worker in December.
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The unemployment regulations are part of a $ 1.9 trillion package, the American Rescue Plan, that Biden plans to unveil in a speech Thursday night.
It follows a $ 900 billion relief effort that was passed late last month.
$ 400 increase in unemployment
This law extended unemployment benefits by 11 weeks until mid-March. (Some workers may receive an additional four weeks.) In addition, the standard benefits have been increased by $ 300 a week, which generally replaces half an employee’s lost earnings.
Biden would increase this to $ 400 a week. That would be less than a $ 600 weekly improvement provided by the CARES Act, which is the equivalent of a subsequent Trump administration subsidy for assistance with lost wages.
Six months of additional benefits
The president-elect would also extend the duration of the benefits by about six months to the end of September instead of mid-March.
This would apply to self-employed, gig and part-time workers receiving pandemic unemployment benefits, as well as recipients of pandemic unemployment benefits who have exhausted their standard allotment of government benefits.
These programs ended the day after Christmas but were resumed by the recent relief effort. They support more than 11 million Americans, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday.
“Congress did the right thing by further increasing eligibility and increasing the number of weeks the unemployed can receive benefits,” said Biden’s business plan. “But these benefits will expire in weeks – even as the Covid-19 pandemic worsens.”
Biden will attempt to automatically adjust the length and amount of the supplementary unemployment benefit based on health and economic conditions to prevent Congress from having to repeat benefits in seizures and starts according to the President-elect’s plan.
According to economists, such barometers can include Covid case numbers or government unemployment rates. Biden’s plan does not provide a precise measure.
Biden consistently called the $ 900 billion bill in December a down payment for more relief for Americans in times of rising coronavirus cases and a deteriorating economy.
The US cut 140,000 jobs in December, the first month of negative growth since April.
By the end of last year, more than 18 million people were receiving unemployment benefits. Almost 1.2 million people filed new government benefits last week – more than during the worst week of the Great Recession.
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