New Money

What to know about the new round of pandemic relief payments

If you were one of the more than 30 million Americans who needed the additional $600 unemployment benefit that expired in July, you’re likely excited about the $400 extension. You also might have some concerns about when this benefit actually starts, if it’s available in all states and the 75%/25% federal/state split you’ve been hearing about. We’ve answered some of your questions below.

Will I Get This Payment?

If you were receiving the extra $600 per week unemployment benefit, and things have not changed for the better, you will automatically be enrolled to get the new $400 benefit. However…

Will I Receive $400?

You might. But you might not. Each state is required to tack on $100 to the federal government’s $300 payment. The problem, as US News reports, is that state governments are short on cash just like the rest of us. So far, only a few (Montana, West Virginia and Kentucky) have stepped up to say they’ll chip in the additional $100. That means depending on where you live, you could see either the full $400 benefit or the reduced $300 payment.

When Will Get the Payment?

The best guesses point to the end of August. However, if it’s longer than that, you should know that the $400 benefit is retroactive to August 1, so no matter when you get the check (or card), you’ll get all the money you missed out on up until that date.

Is There An Expiration Date?

Unfortunately, just like the first additional unemployment insurance benefit, this new round of relief does come with an end date — December 6, 2020. But let’s look on the bright side, shall we? Perhaps by then you will not need the extra payment. Or maybe by then the pandemic will have finally slowed down. If not, we’re all likely to be looking for another round of relief.

Chris O'Shea

Chris O'Shea