Update 12/30: President Trump’s refusal to sign the bipartisan COVID relief bill passed by Congress until after federal emergency unemployment programs expired on Dec. 26 means nearly 200,000 jobless Arizonans initially was thought that they will not receive assistance for the week of Dec. 27- Jan. 2.
However, a legal work around was put out on Dec. 29 by the Dept. of Labor that will enable those benefits to be preserved using the ambiguity in the way the law was written.
Full details found in this article from Forbes.
For Immediate Release
December 28, 2020
Trump’s Delay in Signing COVID Relief Bill Harms 200,000 Arizonan Households
Costs state $140 million in lost economic activity
President Trump’s refusal to sign the bipartisan COVID relief bill passed by Congress until after federal emergency unemployment programs expired on Dec. 26 means nearly 200,000 jobless Arizonans will not receive assistance for the week of Dec. 27- Jan. 2.
This will result in a loss of $80 million in direct targeted federal assistance for the jobless this week alone. The cost to the state in lost economic activity will exceed $140 million.
States cannot pay out partial weeks of assistance and will have to wait until the week starting Jan. 3 to reinstate federal payments along with the supplemental Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) assistance of $300 per week. Benefits for this week are lost as states cannot pay them retroactively, therefore reducing assistance provided by the new bill to 10 weeks rather than 11 as was intended.
Who is impacted?
60,000 Arizonans on state unemployment insurance.
- These people have missed out on a $300 weekly unemployment supplement for Dec. 27-Jan.2.
- Supplemental unemployment payments are a lifeline for jobless Arizonans given the state’s abysmal maximum weekly benefit amount of $240, the second lowest in the nation.
About 130,000 Arizonans who rely on federal emergency unemployment assistance.
- Trump’s inaction means they get no assistance this week—and it cannot be made retroactive.
- They lose a federally-funded regular weekly unemployment payment up to $240 originally provided for by the CARES Act which expired on Dec. 26.
- It also cost them the new $300 weekly federal unemployment supplement.
The new COVID relief bill extends emergency unemployment assistance to people who have exhausted their state unemployment assistance and those who don’t qualify for state assistance due to Arizona’s high income eligibility criteria or because they are gig/contract/self-employed workers. The 130,000 people in Arizona who are affected include:
- 75,000 people receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). PUA is a federally-funded program for gig/contract/self-employed workers who do not qualify for the state’s unemployment insurance program.
- 50,000 people receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). PEUC is a federally-funded program for individuals whose regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits have been exhausted.
- 7,500 people who had been receiving Extended Benefits. Extended Benefits, designed for people who have exhausted PEUC assistance, expired for people in Arizona on Dec. 12 because the state government has failed to adopt optional unemployment rate triggers to maintain the program.
Full release is in the summary text.