$600 Unemployment Benefit End Date is Sooner Than You Think

The $600 unemployment benefit is ending this week despite the program technically expiring on July 31.

While the coronavirus relief program is set to end on July 31, the benefit is only paid out on weeks ending on either Saturday or Sunday. This means that this week will be the last week the $600 unemployment benefit will be paid out.

The CARES Act was passed unanimously in March and expanded unemployment benefits to include an additional $600 per week until the end of July. Unemployment benefits will still be available after July, but the extra $600 payments will be discontinued.

An economist has said that some Americans could face income losses of up to 70 percent once these benefits end. In an interview with NPR, Indivar Dutta-Gupta, co-executive director of Georgetown's Center on Poverty and Inequality, said: "Families are going to face high rates of eviction, homelessness, food insecurity, hunger. And the economy overall is going to see much slower progress in a recovery than otherwise."

Some states will suffer more than others, as The Century Foundation predicts that four of the six swing states, Arizona, Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, are set to lose a combined $3.5 billion in income per week, once the benefit expires.

Other vulnerable states include California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Texas.

The Century Foundation estimates that 25 million Americans will lose the $600 benefit once it ends this week.

However, the House Democrats' proposed HEROES Act bill would ensure that people currently out of work will be able to receive an extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits until at least next year.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said in a statement: "We must think big for the people now, because if we don't, it will cost more in lives and livelihood later. Not acting is the most expensive course."

The HEROES Act would be similar to the first round of payments but it would increase payments to all eligible dependants and the amount would increase from $500 to $1,200 with a $3,600 cap.

Congress is debating the second stimulus checks and unemployment payments this week, and a stimulus package is expected to be passed before the August 3 recess. While more than 17 million Americans are still unemployed, the new potential stimulus package is not expected to be on the same scale as the CARES Act.

The $600 a week enhanced benefit saw some Americans receive more income than they did while working, though this time the benefits may not fully make up the amount of an unemployed person's former salary.

Stimulus check, Washington D.C. April 2020
A stimulus check sent to citizens across the country, pictured on April 29, 2020 in Washington, D.C. The stimulus checks will stop being paid out this week, ahead of the act expiring at the end of July, 2020. Getty Images