During the COVID-19 pandemic, California’s economy continues to struggle. The state officials will mark the Labor Day holiday by sending $900 supplemental unemployment benefits to jobless residents. Nevertheless, many will not get assistance right away. Approximately 200,000 people will not get it at all.
At the rate of $300 per week, the lump-sum payment covers three weeks of benefits retroactive to the week that ended August 1. The federal government is paying for it.
California Labor Secretary Julie A. Su announced on Sunday that the state had received approval for an additional two weeks, or $600. Thus, it brought the total benefit to $1.500. Moreover, a representative added that the benefit announced on Monday would go out later than the initial payment of this week.
On top of regular state unemployment checks, an earlier federal program provided a $600 weekly supplemental benefit. Nevertheless, the program expired in July.
Congress deadlocked concerning a proposal to extend that $600 benefit. Last month, the United States President’s Donald Trump’s executive order authorized $300 in weekly supplements. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee of continuing beyond three weeks.
Dana Hadl works for Bet Tzedek Legal Services in Los Angeles. She is directing attorney there. Thus, Hadl said that the latest payment ‘would provide much-needed relief’ for California’s unemployed workers. Nevertheless, she adds that more would be needed.
Hadl said that this supplement would start to alleviate many worker’s fears that they will not be able to feed and house their families. Nevertheless, it does not fully replace the $600 (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. Thus, Congress still needs to act to protect their country’s vulnerable low-wage workers.
The state Employment Department said that it would be to send the first $900 in federal supplements out Monday. It will go to 3.1 million people who have been receiving at least $100 in weekly unemployment benefits from the state and previously certified that they were unemployed because of the COVID-19-related reason.
The EDD said that it would take a ‘couple of weeks’ sending out all of those benefits. The benefits will get agency-issued debit cardholders getting a lump-sum payment and those getting benefits by check being issued separate checks.
Claimants of the additional 1.2 million still need to certify eligibility that their joblessness is related to COVID-19, and the EDD will notify them starting September 15 of the need to do so.
Nevertheless, some 192,000 unemployed Californians will not be eligible to receive the extra $300. It is because they have been receiving less than $100 in state benefits. The federal government set that threshold for participation. That information comes from researchers at UCLA’s California Policy Lab.
According to an analysis by the lab, the average state benefit for those who are ineligible is $68 per week.
Till von Watcher is a faculty director at the lab and UCLA economics professor; moreover, Wachter is coauthor of the report. Thus, he said that being left out of the new benefits is adding insult over the injury. It is a case, especially since there is no substantial justification.
That is the situation in California state.