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The rise in unemployment by USD 600 is nearly over. For some, support will drop by 93%

People are waiting for their numbers to be called at an unemployment event in Tulsa, Oklahoma on July 15, 2020.

Photo by Nick Oxford for The Washington Post via Getty Images

93% fall

Americans received an additional $ 600 a week in April under a federal coronavirus relief law.

The federal subsidy was added to the typical weekly payments by the federal states. As a result, the average American received $ 921 a week in May, according to an analysis of the Department of Labor data.

But these checks will drop 65% after July 31 to about $ 321 a week.

The experiences will be very different between the states, which determine their own performance levels and differ greatly in their generosity.

In Oklahoma, which paid the lowest average weekly benefit in May, average unemployment benefits are reduced by 93% to $ 44 a week.

Oklahoma had an unemployment rate of 6.6% in June, compared to the national unemployment rate of 11.1%.

According to the Department of Labor, there were approximately 118,000 unemployed people in Oklahoma on July 18. (However, this amount is almost certainly lower than in reality – the state is one of six states that do not specify the number of people participating in a new federal program, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, benefits for the self-employed, gig and other workers are not entitled to benefits beforehand.)

In the state of Washington, which has paid the highest average weekly benefit, aid will decrease 55% weekly to $ 497.

Maximum and minimum benefits

States set minimum benefit amounts for eligible unemployment benefit recipients. This sets a lower limit for the performance levels. (The states also limit the advantages.)

Most states set minimum amounts below $ 100 a week.

Hawaii's minimum, the lowest of all states, is only $ 5 a week after the $ 600 weekly supplement has expired.

Low minimum values ​​compared to other countries do not necessarily mean less generosity. According to economists, they are partly due to looser admission rules. Workers in Hawaii are entitled to benefits with a lower annual income than, for example, other states. Hawaii paid the second highest average benefit in May at $ 466 a week.

For workers collecting the minimum weekly check – or close to the minimum check – losing $ 600 a week can be an acute difficulty. For example, these recipients may include part-time workers who work for a few hours.

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Massachusetts now pays unemployed workers up to $ 1,234 a week, the highest maximum benefit of any state. In contrast, Mississippi has the lowest maximum among states and pays up to $ 235 a week.

With the additional $ 600 a week, unemployment benefits have been more generous than ever since the unemployment insurance system was introduced in the 1930s, according to labor economists.

MP Dan Kildee, D-Mich., Speaks during a press conference on July 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. The House Democrats called on Republicans to extend the CARES law unemployment benefit, which is due to expire on July 31.

Photo by Michael A. McCoy / Getty Images

Democrats want to extend the $ 600 benefit and call it a financial lifeline that has helped support the economy and household finances at a time when it is difficult to find new jobs. The house, led by the Democrats, passed the HEROES law in May, which is set to extend the $ 600 bonus until early next year.

Republicans want to end payments or replace them with something less generous. Republican Senate officials released a proposal on Monday to cut weekly aid by two-thirds to $ 200 a week and eventually move to a policy that offers up to 70% wage replacement.

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