What to do now that the pandemic of unemployment insurance plans has expired

Millions of Americans and their families will see a sharp drop in unemployment benefits, or lose them altogether, now that three key pandemic plans for the unemployed have expired.

In the future, 5.1 million people supported by the pandemic of unemployment benefits (for the self-employed, concert workers and carers) and 3.8 million people applying for unemployment benefits due to an emergency epidemic (for the long-term unemployed) will lose all access to benefits. This amounts to approximately 76% of all UI recipients since the end of August to lose their unemployment assistance altogether.

2.6 million people who are entitled to a standard user interface lose an additional $ 300 a week, or an immediate $ 1,200 reduction in their monthly income and threaten their ability to pay for essential expenses such as food, housing and medical supplies.

If you were receiving benefits through one of these programs, here are four steps you can take now that the pandemic of UI programs has expired.

Certify for your remaining benefits

Eligibility for PUA and PEUC formally ended on 6 September. But if you feel you are eligible for either the program and never had a claim, or missed a week of certification, you still have time to submit your information.

States have a 30-day window after the PUA or PEUC expires to receive new applications for weeks to which employees are entitled, says Alexa Tapia, UI’s supervisor for the National Employment Law Project.

Despite the fact that the parliament has not taken any measures to prolong the UI pandemic, some spokespersons have suggested that those at PUA and PEUC continue to certify if the programs are renewed, as they have been before. Tapia, however, does not recommend this and says that employees probably do not even have the ability to do so on the UI website.

“The only advantage that certain employees – those who are normally eligible at UI – can have is to check if they have a new benefit year if they worked at all last year,” Tapia told CNBC Make It. “Currently, the parliament has strongly indicated that they will not renew these plans. If they did, retroactivity would be something they would decide.”

Long-term unemployed workers who lost PEUC in some states may be eligible for ongoing assistance by switching to Extended Benefits, EC, state-funded assistance. California, Illinois, Nevada and Texas will cancel their EC program after 9/11.

The EC will continue to provide up to 13 weeks of additional unemployment assistance to eligible residents of Connecticut, New Jersey and New Mexico.

EC qualification requirements are different from PEUC, so you may need to apply for the new application specifically with your state, or you can transfer automatically if you qualify. You can check your state’s work department for specific information.

Find resources for food, housing, health care and more

There is still some federal assistance to help those in difficulty, including monthly child tax prepayments; increased supplemental nutrition assistance program, or SNAP, benefits; emergency rental assistance; and a break in the payment of student union loans.

Qualification requirements vary, especially by location, so not everyone is entitled to them.

The grassroots organization ExtendPUA has a resource page for additional funding, careers and mental health resources, which goes beyond government assistance and includes assistance with things like utilities, Wi-Fi, UI requires controversy and “lots of mutual assistance”, says ExtendPUA CEO Stephanie Friday. “We should not rely on mutual assistance to make sure that people survive in this country, but it exists and is there to help.

She spent the last few weeks delivering desperate messages from families who were experiencing immediate loss of income. “The message we are telling everyone is: This is not right and it is not their fault. They are not alone.”

Connect with job search assistance

Despite job openings, prospective workers continue to cite challenges in caring for children, fear of the virus, and changing views of the workplace or career as reasons why they cannot find suitable paid work during the pandemic. Many more are submitting dozens, if not hundreds, of applications and will never hear again in a tight labor market today that does not benefit everyone equally.

But there are plenty of organizations that are designed to help people get back into the workforce. The CareerOneStop Department of Labor is a great place to visit for questions related to all aspects of employment, including updating your resume, preparing for interviews and internships, and placement. Organizations like the National Able Network can help you fit in with on-the-job training that could mean a new career.

Professionals also suggest focusing on your job search within your physical area, such as researching policies in your zip code, finding a local job card, connecting directly with employers, or referring to a public service, such as a local library, for assistance.

Research has shown that increased unemployment and underemployment can have a long-term effect on the physical and mental health of the jobseeker. Therefore, take precautions to control burnout during a long job search.

Contact your local legislators