President-elect Joe Biden is the House and Senate to come together before the New Year to negotiate what’ll be in a — which is still expected to include a for up to — and pass it into law so the IRS can start creating a . Assistance programs created with the in March have been nearly depleted, and unless new legislation passes Congress, the (and the additional aid granted by in August) will expire at the end of this year.after his inauguration on Jan. 20. But the pressure is on
Leading economists agree more aid is needed. Acknowledging that Congress has the power to approve stimulus funding, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Nov. 5, “We’ll have a stronger recovery if we can just get at least some more fiscal support.”
However, legislators have competing approaches, and compromise has been slow to occur, if it’s been reached at all. Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, don’t want to send more stimulus aid to Americans, while congressional Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, prefer a package with a second stimulus payment, more programs and more funding.
Without additional funds, these key programs will expire on Dec. 31.
The extension of federal unemployment benefits
Individual states handle unemployment insurance claims, determining if a person is eligible, how much they receive and for how long they can collect. Though it varies from state to state, the. Starting on Jan. 1, those additional 13 weeks provided by the federal government are gone.
Some states have already backfilled the void on their own, including increasing their benefit period up to 59 weeks, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Others, including Alabama, Arkansas and Utah, haven’t taken action on it, which could leave unemployed workers in those states without assistance as the new year begins.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for those who wouldn’t typically qualify
Another initiative of the CARES Act, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, also known as , provided economic relief to those who wouldn’t typically qualify for unemployment: self-employed workers, contractors and gig workers. The PUA is set to end Dec. 31. If the federal government doesn’t extend it, it will be up to the states to determine whether they will step in on Jan. 1.
The additional $300 extra unemployment check per week
The average weekly unemployment benefit doesn’t always equal a worker’s earnings and typically ranges between $300 and $600. To help fill the gap, the president’s memo, and is expected to sunset unused.added a . When that bonus expired on July 31, Trump signed an executive memo paving the way for a smaller $300 weekly bonus (for a six-week period) with the expectation Congress would soon pass another relief package. That hasn’t happened, and most states have exhausted the six weeks of extra funding. The $300 bonus provision is set to end on Dec. 27, according to the
Eviction moratorium to protect renters and homeowners
The Centers for Disease Control, which called for a halt on evictions for failure to pay rent. This order by the agency covered more households, including renters in 43 million households, but it also has an expiration date of Dec. 31.provided limited protection on evictions by only focusing on homes backed with a federal mortgage loan or households that received some type of federal funding. The by the
Deferments of federal student loans
Students who are paying off federal student loans also received a reprieve under the, which gave them the option to defer their loan payments (and which paused the accrual of interest) until the end of September 2020. In August, . On Jan. 1, loan servicers will once again be able to charge interest on these loans and students may have to resume paying them off unless the servicers offer deferment options.
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