Extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits will end this month

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- People on unemployment could be in for an unwelcome surprise.

The extra $600 in weekly benefits is set to expire on July 31st.

The $600 per week in additional benefits has helped keep many households afloat during the pandemic.

While there have been calls to extend the benefit, it's unclear whether that will happen past the deadline.

Experts warn that when the extra $600 in weekly federal unemployment benefits expires at the end of July, it will be total economic devastation.

The benefit was approved under the first coronavirus package but it's unlikely to be extended in a second relief package.

Without that additional money, 30 million unemployed workers will lose 50-70% of their income overnight.

"It's going to be total economic devastation. The unemployment insurance program is the lifeline for workers in this public health crisis," said Executive Director of the National Employment Law Project.

This lifeline is disappearing, just as some states including California roll back reopenings, forcing many workers back on unemployment.

The extra $600 a week in unemployment that's helped millions of Americans to pay bills and put food on the table will expire at the end of the month

Up to 23 million Americans could be evicted from their homes by the end of September.

Critics argue if people are making more money on unemployment then there is no incentive to return to work when businesses reopen.

The Employment Development Department released a statement to Action News, saying in part:

"EDD has been able to process and pay $45.6 billion in benefits to support families and local communities over the last four months - about double what was paid in the highest year of the Great Recession. But the job is far from done."
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