Federal unemployment benefits expiring in California

California
A person passes the office of the California Employment Development Department in Sacramento on Dec. 18, 2020. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

A person passes the office of the California Employment Development Department in Sacramento on Dec. 18, 2020. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

With most federal unemployment programs expiring Saturday, many Californians will see their unemployment benefits ending or being reduced.

On Saturday night, four pandemic-related unemployment programs will expire: the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, the Pandemic Additional Compensation and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation.

That means aid to 2.2 million Californians will be cut off, according to the California Employment Development Department.

Another 500,000 Californians will stop getting the extra weekly $300 federal supplement with their payments, though they’ll continue to receive regular state unemployment insurance, officials said.

The loss of the federal programs comes the same month California’s evictions moratorium is set to expire on Sept. 30.

Many of those who were benefiting from the programs were gig workers, the self-employed and others not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits, according to the Los Angeles Times.

For those whose federal unemployment benefits are ending, the EDD is encouraging them to apply for other programs expanded by the American Rescue Plan. They include up to $234 per person per month in food assistance via CalFresh, rental and utility assistance from the Housing is Key program and health insurance through Covered California.

On Sept. 11, a federal extension program that gives up to 13 weeks of additional benefits for people who used all of their unemployment benefits during a period of high unemployment will also end.

Those affected by any of the programs expiring should have received notice from the EDD.

“Any weeks of unemployment that occurred before these programs expire can still be paid retroactively if a claimant is later determined to be eligible for those weeks of benefits,” officials said.

The federal government does not allow for payments after the programs end, even if people still have balances left on their claims, the EDD said.

And some who were receiving help through the federal programs may not be able to qualify for regular state unemployment insurance if they didn’t get any income in the past 18 months.

EDD has an online calculator for Californians to estimate any potential benefit amount they can get, which can range from $40 to $450 a week. 

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