Opinion | The financial relief plan has worked. But it shows the woeful state of unemployment insurance.

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Consequently, the expected household debt crisis has not materialized. Total credit card debt has fallen from $900 billion in March to $800 billion now, and fewer than 2 percent of accounts are past due, according to the Wall Street Journal. (Of course, shopping and dining out were impossible in many places.) As for mortgages, 30-day past-due accounts have spiked, according to CoreLogic, but “serious” delinquencies — 90 days past due or more — are at a 20-year low, as are foreclosure rates.

People are struggling; the poorest most of all. But it could have been far worse. This is as it should be. Government called on the people, essentially, to cease producing goods and services, and so it was up to government to shield them from financial disaster — in effect, to take individual and small business debt onto the national balance sheet.

There is no immediate issue of “moral

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Weekly unemployment claims drop, but jobs not yet recovered

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Updated


SEATTLE (AP) — New weekly claims for unemployment insurance in Washington

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Republican plan to cut enhanced unemployment benefits by $400 would cost 3.4 million jobs: analysis

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Republicans are set to unveil a plan to drastically slash enhanced federal unemployment benefits even as economists warn the move could cost the country millions of jobs and shrink the economy.

Senate Republicans have claimed that American workers who bring in a higher weekly rate than before the pandemic are disincentivized from going back to the office.

“It certainly does not have the backing that it had before because of many small businesses that have come forward and said that people just don’t want to come back — that they were making more than they did when they worked,” Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., a senior member of the Finance Committee, told NBC News earlier this month. 

However, there is no evidence that the increased payments have resulted in Americans refusing to return to work. Though House Democrats approved a full extension on the benefit in May, Senate Republicans plan to

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How Low Can Dems Go On Unemployment Benefits?

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WASHINGTON ― The extra $600 a week Congress added to unemployment benefits is set to expire in a matter of days, and Republicans and Democrats remain as far apart as ever on a deal to extend the money ― both between their parties and within them.

Senate Republicans have delayed unveiling their own legislation to extend the benefits all week, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) now saying Republicans in his chamber will release their bill on Monday. 

Democratic leaders won’t have much time to negotiate before benefits expire. In fact, even though the extra money was supposed to last until the end of July, many recipients will get their final $600 on Saturday or Sunday, because most states pay benefits on the weekend and July 31 is a Friday. (Regular state unemployment benefits, which are much lower, will continue.) 

And when lawmakers finally get around to hashing out final

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Aurora Police Warn Of Unemployment, Fake Check Scams

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AURORA, IL — More than a dozen Aurora residents have been targeted by two increasingly popular scams, prompting police to issue a warning to residents.

At least 10 residents have filed reports with the Aurora Police Department after receiving debit cards in the mail to access unemployment benefits they never applied for. Several other residents have lost money after being defrauded while trying to sell items through online marketplaces like Craigslist and OfferUp, police said.

East Aurora Schools To Start Fall Semester With Remote Learning

Unemployment systems throughout the country are being targeted by fraudsters amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to Illinois Department of Employment Security officials. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday that state officials are working with federal authorities to investigate “the nationwide fraud scheme impacting each state’s federal pandemic unemployment assistance program.”

West Aurora District 129 To Offer Remote, Hybrid Learning Plans

Any resident who receives a debit

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More Help Is Coming, But $600 Unemployment Bonus Will Lapse First

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A second economic rescue package is on the horizon, one that will likely include another stimulus check, funding for small businesses and schools, additional jobless benefits and more. But as lawmakers debate the finer points, a critical provision of the first relief package is set to expire.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, or FPUC, boosts all Americans’ unemployment payments by $600 per week, automatically. That provision of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act expires July 31 unless Congress acts immediately to extend it.

That deadline is according to the wording of the CARES Act, but the payments effectively end sooner. State unemployment agencies typically operate on a Sunday to Saturday schedule (or vice versa), meaning the last unemployment payment including the $600 bonus will be paid out either July 25 or July 26.

With the clock ticking, that means jobless Americans are likely to see a lapse in their unemployment payments —

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In Picking Up Work Here and There, Many Miss Out on Unemployment Check

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Annie Frodeman, who cobbled together work shifts registering emergency patients at a hospital, and as an airport ramp agent, in her airport safety vest near her home outside Burlington, Vt., July 21, 2020. (John Tully/The New York Times)
Annie Frodeman, who cobbled together work shifts registering emergency patients at a hospital, and as an airport ramp agent, in her airport safety vest near her home outside Burlington, Vt., July 21, 2020. (John Tully/The New York Times)

Annie Frodeman often worked 40 hours a week or more — full time by most lights. She just worked them at two jobs.

Four or five mornings a week before the coronavirus outbreak, she worked as an airport ramp agent for Piedmont Airlines in Burlington, Vermont — hoisting bags on and off planes, refilling the water tanks, and sometimes emptying aircraft lavatories — for less than $15 an hour. The rest of the time she signed up for shifts in the emergency room at University of Vermont Medical Center, registering patients for $20 an hour.

While Burlington is expensive, Frodeman said, the two jobs together provided the income and flexibility that she

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Unemployment showdown + Team Draymond gains allies on dentist bill + Assessors speak out on ‘split-roll’

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Happy Wednesday! You’ve made it to the middle of the week. Treat yourself by taking a break and reading our latest newsletter.

LATEST ON UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

More than 4 million Californians are paying their bills with help from the special $600 weekly unemployment payments Congress authorized in March as the coronavirus outbreak took hold. That deal expires this week, and lawmakers still are not set on a plan.

Here’s the latest from the team in the McClatchy Washington Bureau:

Senate Republicans are seeking to reduce — but not eliminate — unemployment benefits related to the pandemic that are expiring at the end of this month, so that recipients are not making more money from the benefit than they did while working.

Republicans are rallying behind a reduction in the extra federal benefit. One idea under discussion is to lower the $600 weekly benefit to a flat amount. Another proposal

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California unemployment falls, but virus surge likely to reverse job gains

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California added 558,200 jobs from mid-May to mid-June and state unemployment fell from 16.4% to 14.9% — but don’t start celebrating yet. The numbers don’t account for the resurgence of COVID-19 cases throughout the U.S. and in California in the last half of June or the retreat in plans to reopen the economy. The numbers were released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which slightly revised the earlier jobless figure from 16.3% to 16.4%.

Leisure and hospitality added the most jobs, at 292,500, benefiting from statewide reopenings of bars and dine-in restaurants, according to the California Employment Development Department. As of mid-June, that sector had regained more than a third of job losses from March and April. Construction jobs had the highest percentage gain, clawing back 68% of jobs lost during the pandemic. Government suffered the largest decline in jobs, at 36,300.

But the dial-back is bound

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I wasn’t laid off but COVID-19 cut my hours. Can I get unemployment? Your money questions, answered

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It’s hard out there. And, in this time of uncertainty, USA TODAY is working to find answers to your money questions – anything from stimulus checks or unemployment benefits to your 401(k) or retirement plans. You can submit your questions here and read earlier answers below.

We will be updating the Q&A, so check back often. But, also look to these places:

… I thought the CARES Act was supposed to help. I’m losing my entire mortgage payment per month and my hours have decreased, but I don’t qualify for anything, the unemployment office said.

Each state has its own guidelines, according to the Department of Labor, but you may be eligible for unemployment if you:

The CARES Act can support short-term compensation programs where employers reduce hours instead of laying off, and employees receive prorated unemployment benefits. But it depends on your state, according to Lisa Greene-Lewis, a certified … Read More