According to a report from the Century Foundation, 12 million Americans are set to lose unemployment insurance by the end of 2020 with the bulk of those 7.3 million set to lose their benefits on December 26.
When Congress wrote its coronavirus rescue bills, it created a benefits cliff on December 26. That’s when 7.3 millionaire workers on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a program for gig and self-employed workers otherwise not eligible under the regular state-run unemployment programs, see their benefits expire. Another 4.6 million workers on the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which extends unemployment benefits for workers who have exhausted their regular state unemployment benefits, typically after 26 weeks, will also lose benefits.
The total comes to more than half of the 21.1 million people currently receiving unemployment benefits of one sort or another.
The House-passed stimulus bill would have extended these benefits as well as reinstating the $600 a week bonus unemployment benefit that expired at the end of July. The Senate failed to pass the House bill.
Economists estimate that a dollar in unemployment benefits adds $1.61 to GDP.
And the worry is that the expiration of unemployment benefits will produce deep, deep pain for American families and send the U.S. economy into a tailspin in 2021.