On November 18, 2020, the Century Fund released a new report and analysis that indicates 12 Million Workers Facing Jobless Benefit Cliff on December 26. People across the country have enrolled in different programs that have expanded unemployment compensation due to the pandemic. All of these different programs will expire the day after Christmas, December 26, 2020.
Up to 40 million have received or are receiving benefits through four programs. These programs include the expanded and now expired benefits included a $600 Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) per week supplement. That support expired on July 31, 2020. Other programs still providing support include the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for gig workers and others not eligible for regular benefits, the 100 percent federal funding for benefits for the long-term unemployed through what is labeled the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and the Extended Benefits (EB) program that helps states expand benefits beyond 26 weeks.
An estimated 7.3 million workers will see their PUA benefits expire on December 26, and 945,000 will run out of PUA before December. An additional estimated 4.6 million workers will see their PEUC benefits prematurely expire on December 26.
An estimated 4.4 million workers will have already exhausted CARES Act benefits before this upcoming cutoff. That means that a total of more than 16 million workers will have lost CARES Act benefits by the end of the year. If Congress fails to act, all of these workers will be heading into 2021 with little or no aid available to them.