Extra unemployment aid expires as virus threatens new states

FILE - In this May 21, 2020 file photo, a man looks at signs displayed of a store closing due to the coronavirus pandemic in Niles, Ill. The viral pandemic's resurgence caused the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits to rise last week for the first time in nearly four months, evidence of the deepening economic pain the outbreak is causing. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

New unemployment claims increased in New Jersey last week, as the federal $600 weekly supplement ended.

Federal legislators have yet to cut a deal on any new supplement, but are expected to come to a deal soon.

Nationally 1.4 million people filed new unemployment claims in the week ending July 25.

The federal payments will continue to be made on all eligible claims for the weeks ending April 4 through July 25 -- even after the program ends, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

For the week ending July 25, New Jersey workers filed 28,063 initial claims --  an 8.8 percent jump over the prior week, DOL reported.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March, 1.44 million of the state's workers have filed for benefits.

The $600 weekly federal addition to state unemployment checks has been available since April and has provided $7.5 billion to unemployed in New Jersey, according to the state. 

The last day to collect the $600 federal benefit was July 25, so most eligible workers will see their final supplemental payment in the next week, the DOL said in a press release.

“While these benefits are providing a safety net for countless families, we are reminded everyday that some are continuing to have issues with their claims. We are throwing every resource we have at these complicated outstanding claims, and working to get everyone a determination quickly," said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.

DOL said 1.25 million individuals have claimed UI benefits and 96 percent of them have received payment. But DOL has not answered questions about  how many of the almost 200,000 people who have not reached the status of claiming benefits are awaiting determinations or have been deemed ineligible.

The state also said 12,600 people who have exhausted all other state and federal aid are receiving state Extended Benefits, which allows an additional 20 weeks of benefit payments.

Contact: 609-272-7219

mpost@pressofac.com

Twitter @MichelleBPost

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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