Last year’s lockdown was a shock to everyone. It was an interesting time for many, and even very scary at times. The sudden shutdown quickly impacted the finances of so many Americans. Data suggest that in May 2020, about 20.5 million Americans were unemployed. People found themselves abruptly out of work and looking for assistance through unemployment.
Fortunately, the Care Act was passed and the government provided additional assistance to those receiving unemployment. As lockdown is coming to an end and more businesses are opening back up, many states are going to put an end to the additional assistance, but when?
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When are federal benefits set to expire for all states?
The short answer is that it depends. The federal unemployment benefits are set to expire on September 6th, 2021, but as some states begin to open up again, they are choosing to end the unemployment benefits even sooner than Labor Day.
The extra $300—also known as the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation or FPCU—was originally scheduled to end in March of 2021. Fortunately, a decision was made to extend the FPCU until September of 2021, but it is unlikely that it will be extended again.
This means there will soon be a significant decrease in funds that many Americans have been relying on for over a year. This can seem daunting, but the best way to manage a sudden change in income is to plan ahead, start looking for work as soon as possible, and be resourceful. Making sure you are informed is a huge step, too.
Which states are ending unemployment benefits?
Though the end date for the FPCU is in September, many U.S. states have already started to phase out the additional funds. Here are the states that will end their benefits before September 6th.
June 12, 2021
June 19, 2021
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- West Virginia
June 26, 2021
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
June 27, 2021
July 3, 2021
July 10, 2021
July 31, 2021
If your state is not listed, the FPCU benefits do not end until September 6th. This gives you more time to start looking for work or planning for other options.
Some states are ending unemployment benefits early
So, why are some states ending before Labor Day? The reason that 26 states chose to end the benefits early is centered around employment concerns. Some states are concerned that the additional funds are preventing people from seeking employment thus leaving many businesses short-staffed or even being forced to close.
The idea is that if the funds are cut, more people will go back to work. This is important to keep in mind if you are receiving these benefits as finding employment might be harder as the extra $300 is cut off due to a sudden influx in people seeking employment.
What to do when unemployment benefits are exhausted
It may be an uneasy feeling thinking that your unemployment benefits might be exhausted. You are not alone in these feelings. In fact, according to CNBC, millions of Americans could lose their FPCU benefits by September. There are ways to prepare for the change in finances and potentially prevent further financial hardships.
Though your unemployment benefits are ending, you might still qualify for food assistance also known as SNAP Food Benefits. There are income limitations to qualify and they differ by state, but SNAP provides benefits on a convenient card.
It can be used to purchase food at authorized retailers and even some farmer’s markets. Qualifications by state can be found here. Food can be a major expense for families, having food assistance can be a great way to reallocate funds and one less thing to worry about.
Child tax credit
Starting in July, families can receive up to $300 a month per child 5 years old and younger or up to $250 per child ages 6-17 years old for the next 6 months, and then they will receive a lump sum in April 2022. This is as a result of the child tax credit. Payments are based on your 2020 taxes.
Qualifications are very similar to the stimulus that was offered earlier this year and last year. You qualify for the full $300 or $250 if you have a single household income of $75,000, head of household earning $112,000, or married couples earning $150,000.
If you exceed any of those amounts, the payments phase out by $50 for every $1,000 over the income thresholds. This additional income could potentially replace the extra $300 from unemployment that many have been receiving.
Food delivery and grocery pickup jobs have seemingly thrived during the pandemic. Data shows that last year, approximately 49% of shoppers said they were buying more or started buying groceries online. It is safe to say that many will continue to use food and grocery delivery services.
Working for places like Shipt, DoorDash, and Instacart is a great way to have a flexible schedule and you get tips too! Even better, because you make your own hours, you can continue to use these side jobs as supplemental income once you secure employment. These are just a few examples of side jobs, there are many more!
Return to work bonus
States like Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Montana are providing a bonus to unemployed workers as a way of encouraging them to return to work and apply for local jobs. Employers get employees and employees receive incentives to work for local employers. It’s a win-win!
It’s important to understand that the bonus is typically a one-time payment. For example, in Arizona, you can receive $2,000 if you work a minimum of eight forty-hour workweeks over the course of a ten-week span of time at a qualifying job.
Even though it’s a one-time payment, it is still a significant amount of money that can serve as a jump start for someone looking to get back on the right financial path. Even though the $300 unemployment benefits are coming to an end, there are other ways to receive money in your time of need. Check to see if your state offers this benefit!
Credit builder loans
The MoneyLion Credit Builder Loan is a great way to get extra funding while boosting your credit. You can receive up to $1,000 with a competitive interest rate and you’ll even get a portion of the money upfront! Once the loan is paid off, the remainder of the funds are released to you.
You’ll get the extra cash, and as you continue making payments towards your loan, you will boost your credit over time. This is a great way to revive your credit if your score has been impacted by your lack of income or any other uncertainties that surprised you over the past year and a half.
Preparation is key!
This past year and a half has caused numerous unexpected hardships for everyone. The extra $300 unemployment payments have been a huge helping hand for millions of Americans. Even so, this benefit is scheduled to end in September, with many states ending the extra funding early.
That means there will be a huge change in income for many. This might sound daunting, but there are ways to prepare and plan for this significant adjustment. Start by getting ahead of the change in income.
Seek out other state funding options, get a side job, and look at employment options to prepare for this upcoming change. Whatever you do, just make sure you start looking for employment now before the funding ends.