Biden Administration Says States Can Restart Pandemic Unemployment Benefits As Lawsuits Mount

Biden Administration Says States Can Restart Pandemic Unemployment Benefits As Lawsuits Mount

- in Politics

(CNN)States that have terminated pandemic unemployment benefits early can restart the programs, but there may be a break in payments for some laid-off Americans, the Biden administration said Monday.

The guidance comes as jobless residents in more states file lawsuits to reinstate the benefits. Unemployed workers in Ohio and Oklahoma this month joined those in Indiana, Maryland and Texas in turning to state courts to force their governors to resume the payments.

Citing workforce shortages, some 26 states are terminating early at least one of the three pandemic unemployment insurance programs Congress enacted in March 2020 and extended twice. Most of these states have already stopped sending the benefits to their residents.

    In addition to the $300 weekly supplement, the federal programs provide benefits to freelancers, the self-employed, independent contractors and certain people affected by the coronavirus and to those who have exhausted their regular state benefits.

      The three pandemic unemployment programs are scheduled to expire in early September in the states that are continuing them.

        If the date of termination has already passed, states may need to enter into a new agreement with the Department of Labor, according to the guidance. Two of the programs — the $300 weekly boost and the payments to those who’ve exhausted their regular state benefits — won’t begin again until after the agreement is signed.

        However, those in the pandemic unemployment assistance progr

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