Elyssa Duncan
Community Specialist
Posted May 18, 2021

$300 unemployment checks may be ending sooner than later

An increasing number of states are taking steps to opt-out of the $300 enhanced unemployment benefit with hopes it will incentivize people to return to work. Alternatively, some states are starting to offer "return to work grants" to eligible workers.
Elyssa Duncan
Community Specialist
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$300 unemployment checks may be ending sooner than later
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An increasing number of states are announcing that they will be ending their participation in federal unemployment programs and pledge to opt-out of the $300 weekly unemployment bonuses and extension of benefits as early as June 2021. Several states will also be ending the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). So, what does this mean for unemployment workers who are part of the federal unemployment programs?

Which states are opting out of federal unemployment programs?

As of May 17, 2021, 19 states have canceled bonus unemployment benefits offered through the American Rescue Plan. State governors have stated that these enhanced benefits discourage workers from taking jobs though some economic experts disagree. Members of our community also disagree with the governor’s decisions.

“I’m not sure who can really live off of unemployment. If it wasn’t for the Grace of God and my savings I would be out on the street. I’ve been out of work for a year due to this pandemic. I faithfully get up and put in job applications. I have reached out to people for any leads, but still unemployed. Don’t assume that this is a way of living for people.”
- Nedra Jeanlouis, Jobcase member

The reduction of benefits is estimated to affect at least 2 million people. The following states have announced they will be ending jobless benefits early.

STATEEFFECTIVE DATE
AlabamaJune 19
AlaskaJune 12
ArizonaJuly 10
ArkansasJune 26
GeorgiaJune 26
IdahoJune 19
IowaJune 12
MississippiJune 12
MissouriJune 12
MontanaJune 27
New HampshireTBD
North DakotaJune 19
OhioJune 26
South CarolinaJune 30
South DakotaJune 26
TennesseeJuly 3
UtahJune 26
West VirginiaJune 19
WyomingJune 19

Be sure to check your state’s official government website for more information, as it may become a trend that more and more states pull out of these bonus programs.

A rising trend: Back to work bonuses

Many states are trying to find ways to incentivize people to return to work as thousands of businesses are struggling to fill thousands of re-opened job openings. Some states have begun instituting “back to work” bonus payments to unemployed workers who find a job.

Arizona
Governor Ducey announced on Thursday, May 13, 2021 that they will stop paying the $300 supplemental pay to unemployed workers, and will instead offer a $2,000 “back to work bonus” and other incentives in an effort to get Arizona citizens back to work.

Louisiana
Louisiana House Republicans are proposing a return-to-work bonus of up to $1,000 to workers who “give up their right to claim jobless benefits for six months.”

Michigan
Michigan’s “return to work grant”, which has the goal of helping businesses find workers, will offer a $1,000 grant to unemployed people who secure a job.

Montana
Montana will become the first state in the country to end enhanced COVID-19 unemployment benefits, replacing them with a $1,200 bonus for unemployed citizens who return to work.

What happens if my state ends the extended unemployment benefits?

States have a limit on how many weeks an individual can stay on unemployment. Most give 26 weeks, some allow as few as 12 weeks, and others as many as 30 weeks. Under the most recent COVID-19 relief package, federal unemployment insurance will be extended through September 2021, offering a total of 53 weeks of additional benefits, except for states opting out.

Since it varies so much from state to state, those who have been unemployed for at least a year should get in touch with their state's labor department for any questions about unemployment eligibility and extensions.

New tax breaks, including the $10,200 in tax-free unemployment and the $3,600 child tax credit were introduced to help counter some of the financial burdens that unemployed workers have faced since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic.


What are your thoughts? Will ending extended unemployment benefits incentivize unemployed individuals to get back to work?

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Elyssa Duncan
Community Specialist
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Deborah Rowley

I live in IA in the area where a Derecho hit. Gov. Reynolds has decided to end the extended unemployment benefits. That's hurting a lot of people who have no businesses to go back too whether closed due to the pandemic or the derecho or both! The very least she could do would be to offer some kind of assistance in the form of a grant or something like that.

23w
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Nancy Fischer

The extra money from unemployment should have ended months ago. You can go anywhere and see that businesses are struggling because they do not have enough employees. It is obvious that many people do not want to go back to work. Also, bonuses are not fair to people that have worked through this the whole time. Maybe those people should get bonuses for going to work everyday through this. And it is not just healthcare workers. People just need to go back to work on their own initiative!!

23w
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Tom Oller

So where is my app

22w
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Brianna Arnold

I’m random person on internet making assumptions about others as if they’re factual when really I should just keep my good ol fashioned prehistoric opinion to myself. 😬😁💯

22w
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Sheronda Chisolm

I moved to Georgia and found a temp job which ended in April. I filed unemployment and haven’t received a dime. Forcing me to move back to Nc. I still can’t find a job and unemployment still have not given me anything.

22w
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Bill Jordan

Rediculous. what states are doing to humans as this is involuntary servitude.Trumplicans

22w
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Carissa Hamilton

This is nothing but stupid spam😒😒

22w
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Erica Ricci

My thoughts are that I’ve struggled due to there issues. I now just found a job and have to pay a year back to everyone I know who has supported me through this. I lost all my clients due to COVID and I have a mother who is high risked that we live together so this past year has been extremely hard on me just as much as it is on everyone. I don’t know what to say actually but good glad they cut the money. Was most definitely not holding me back!

22w
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Scott Hunlock

What do you mean by $300 300 unemployment checks

22w
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Angela Fields

Something else people don't realize is that A LOT of the jobs posted are just REPOSTS of jobs on other sights. There are recruiters , marketing agencies, etc who are causing the reported number of available jobs to be very inaccurate! So to those of you on here who are not actively looking for jobs in the present time, do a little research before jumping to conclusions and passing judgment about someone you know nothing about. I'm on here attempting to pursue every angle I know possible in order to better myself. By simply asking for advice and telling a little about my situation, I have been called lazy and a "benefit sucker" which I am not! I am a college educated, motivated, high achiever who has been affected by the circumstances of this Covid 19 era we are living in. To those of you who are not on here to find a job or offer words of REAL advice, please keep your snide remarks to yourself. I do not wish it upon anyone what some are enduring in today's labor market, but when I read those uninformed, judgemental replies, I really start to question myself.

15w
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