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Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ends, thousands left unsure about COVID and workplace safety

Thousands of unemployed community residents have received their final $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Check on Friday, July 25.

Back in the month of March, the Federal Government approved the FPUC assistance measure as part of a $2 trillion economic aid package which is scheduled to expire on Friday, July 31st. Payments are only provided for weeks ending on either Saturday or Sunday which would only cover up until the 25th.

The Texas Workforce Commission has issued out a reminder to claimants that the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) ends the week of July 25, 2020.

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) provided an additional $600 per week to claimants who lost work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Texans will continue to receive state unemployment benefits for the remainder of their claim.

For those on regular unemployment that is currently up to a potential 59 weeks and 46 weeks for those on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

The length of time benefits are available is subject to an individual’s eligibility as well as state economic indicators.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation was passed as part of the CARES Act. The program provides federal reimbursement to states for an additional $600 per week. A full benefit week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday.

The Act states that the program ends July 31, but benefits must be discontinued before the end of the month because by law TWC cannot pay partial week benefits. The last full benefit week for the extra $600 is the week ending July 25th.

As a result, only payment requests for weeks ending on or before July 25 can include the additional $600.

State unemployment benefits will continue to be paid after this date, they simply will not include the additional $600 anymore.

Other provisions of the federal act do not expire until December 26, 2020. This includes Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides an extra 13 weeks of benefits to persons who exhaust traditional benefits, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides up to 46 weeks of benefits to persons who are self-employed or who would not otherwise qualify for state benefits.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow as the federal assistance has been helping out approximately 7,531 people in the community in accordance to the current unemployment rate of 22%. There are approximately 34,235 people of the working age in our community which would mean that about 7,531 are currently unemployed. Unemployment claims due to the Covid-19 Pandemic were automatically qualified for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation which was added on top of State unemployment totals.

The end of this program is certainly going to set back a lot of families and negatively impact the local economy of up to $4,518,600 less going around on a weekly basis.

These emergency unemployment benefits have been helping families and keeping the economy above water but are now coming to an end.

Ending the assistance will surely set back the economic recovery effort and leave millions of Americans in a very tough situation including those receiving the benefits in Maverick County.

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