Just as the pandemic seemed to be slowly winding down, a new surge in cases and the return of indoor mask mandates in areas like Los Angeles are threatening the much needed boost in economic activity. The rapidly spreading delta variant of COVID-19 has caused an uptick in cases, primarily of unvaccinated individuals, and health experts are worried that the more transmissible variant could lead to another outbreak.
This scenario could precede the return of even more restrictions that would once again limit capacities at businesses, and close-crowded places. All of this comes as federal unemployment benefits are set to expire on September 6th.
In June, President Joe Biden expressed his support for the September expiration date. “A temporary boost in unemployment benefits that we enacted helped people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and who still may be in the process of getting vaccinated… but it’s going to expire in 90 days — it makes sense it expires in 90 days.” A top White House official added that the programs were designed as “a temporary lifeline.” These statements however, came before this latest surge, and depending on how the delta variant plays out, experts are worried people could be left stranded once again.
Several states across the nation like Iowa, Texas, Florida and Utah withdrew from the federal unemployment programs early, claiming benefits were keeping recipients from returning to work. And at this time, we’ve seen little indication of political will to push unemployment benefits past their September 6th expiration. Here are the enhanced benefits set to end in less than two months:
- People eligible for unemployment benefits in their state are receiving an additional $300 per week from the federal government.
- If your income is below $150,000 per year, you won’t be taxed for the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits you received in 2020. Any unemployment benefits you receive over that threshold or any benefits you’ve received in 2021 will still be subject to income tax.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which is the federal program for self-employed, part-time and gig workers.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which lengthens benefits for people who have exhausted the number of weeks to claim unemployment.
- Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation, which provides benefits for people who earn money from a mix of employment and self-employment. This benefit is worth $100 per week for eligible workers.
The Employment Development Department or EED also released new guidelines on unemployment benefits. As of July 11, 2021, Californians receiving unemployment benefits need to be searching for work to maintain their eligibility. These requirements vary depending on state and federal law and the type of claim filed.
Experienced Employment Law Attorney, Mediator, Arbitrator, Investigator, Legal and Media Commentator
Twice-named a U.S. News Best Lawyer in America for employment and labor law, Angela Reddock-Wright is an employment and labor law attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and certified workplace and Title IX investigator (AWI-CH) in Los Angeles, CA. Known as the “Workplace Guru,” Angela is an influencer and leading authority on employment, workplace/HR, Title IX, hazing, and bullying issues.
Angela is a regular legal and media commentator and analyst and has appeared on such media outlets as Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Law and Crime with Brian Ross, Court TV, CNN, NewsNation, ABC News, CBS News, Fox 11 News, KTLA-5, the Black News Channel, Fox Soul – The Black Report, NPR, KPCC, Airtalk-89.3, KJLH Front Page with Dominique DiPrima, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Forbes.com, Yahoo! Entertainment, People Magazine, Essence Magazine, the Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Focus, Daily Journal, Our Weekly and the Wave Newspapers.
Angela is a member of the panel of distinguished mediators and arbitrators with Judicate West, a California dispute resolution company. She also owns her own dispute resolution law firm, the Reddock Law Group of Los Angeles, specializing in the mediation, arbitration, and investigation of employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other workplace claims, along with Title IX, sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct conduct cases, along with hazing and bullying cases in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, fraternities and sororities; fire, police and other public safety agencies and departments; and other private and public sector workplaces.
For more information regarding resources for employers, businesses, and employees during this time, connect with her on LinkedIn for new updates, or contact her here. You may also follow her on Instagram.
This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.