April 2021, people line up in front of a newly opened career center for face-to-face appointments in Louisville, Kentucky.
Amira Karaoud | Reuters
The extended federal unemployment insurance introduced during the coronavirus pandemic will end in a few weeks, as the delta variant continues to threaten the economic recovery.
About 7.5 million Americans will be abruptly left without benefits, and millions more will receive smaller weekly unemployment checks as a result.
At the same time, several other pandemic-era programs have recently been extended and can provide help or offset some of the loss of the extra money to those who are out of work.
This is what unemployed Americans can rely on for the coming months.
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1. Eviction moratorium
In early August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new federal eviction ban on July 31, just days after the previous moratorium expired.
About 80 to 90 percent of tenants are protected by the new rules, which prohibit evictions in areas with “high” or “significant” coronavirus infections. The current eviction moratorium lasts until October 3rd.
The new program gives tenants and landlords additional time to apply for and receive the more than $ 46 billion congressional emergency rental funds. Anyone who is struggling with rent or is threatened with eviction should apply through their state as soon as possible, because a pending application can also offer protection.
2. Nutritional benefits
From October, the benefits will be increased across the board for the first time since 1975 through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The average adjustment will be around 25% from pre-pandemic levels.
The average increase will be $ 36.24 per person per month, or about $ 1.19 more per day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the average performance was around $ 121 per person per month.
“It’s pretty important for low-income families with children,” said Lauren Bauer, an economics scholar at the Brookings Institution and affiliate of the Hamilton Project.
For those already receiving SNAP benefits, no further action is required to get the October boost. If you may be eligible for SNAP but are not currently receiving it, you can apply for the benefit through your state of residence.
There are other nutritional benefits that will help children as well. The electronic transfer of benefits for eligible children will continue over the summer. And in the fall the schools will offer all children free meals, which, according to Bauer, will benefit many more children than usual.
3. Payment break for student loans
In August, the US Department of Education extended the moratorium on the payment and interest of federal student loans for the last time to January 31, 2022.
That means approximately 42 million borrowers with student debt will not have to make payment on most federal loans by February next, and their balances will not grow.
In the meantime, people who fear that they won’t be able to resume their payments in February or that they won’t be able to pay as much per month as they used to should check with their student loan service providers now. You may be able to switch payment plans, which means you owe less each month.
4. Increased tax credit for children
For people with eligible children, the child discount can provide additional relief when unemployment insurance ends. In August, the IRS and the Treasury Department made monthly prepayments of approximately $ 15 billion to 61 million children.
This was the second of six payments from the extended child tax credit, which began in July. The expanded loan increased the existing benefit from $ 2,000 to $ 3,000 and added a bonus of $ 600 for children under 6 years of age for the 2021 tax year.
Half of the loan is paid out to families in monthly installments from July to December – for families receiving the full loan, it is $ 300 per month for children under 6 and $ 250 per month for children 6-17 years old.
The average payment in August was $ 428, according to the IRS and the Treasury Department. Families are expected to receive four more monthly payments through the end of the year and receive the second half of the credit when they file their 2021 tax returns next year.
More help on the table
More help could also be on the way in the coming months. The $ 3.5 trillion budget proposal released by the Democrats would expand many social safety net programs and provide more relief for Americans.
This would particularly benefit low-wage earners and people with children. If passed, the household would expand child tax credit, earned income tax credit, child and dependent tax credit, and paid family and sick leave according to a draft plan.
It would also expand general pre-K to 3- and 4-year-olds, expand childcare allowances for working families, and free up tuition fees at community colleges.
The Democrats in the House of Representatives want to push ahead with the far-reaching budget dissolution as early as next week. At the same time, the Democrats hope to pass a $ 1 trillion infrastructure plan.
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