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10 million poised to lose unemployment benefits by early September

August 2, 2021, 3:57 PM UTC

On the heels of the federal eviction moratorium expiring, as many as 20 million people could see their troubles compounded next month as their unemployment benefits are dramatically reduced or disappear entirely.

A study from the People’s Policy Project, citing data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, finds that roughly 10 million people who rely on jobless benefits will lose them on Sept. 6. And another 10 million will see those benefits drop by $300 per week if Congress allows the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program to expire.

(Those numbers factor in the family members in households that receive UI benefits.)

Federal unemployment programs have paid jobless benefits since March 2020. Those are set to end on Labor Day next month and, to date, Congress has not shown an urgency to extend them. That will impact everyone from the longtime unemployed to self-employed and gig workers, who typically aren’t eligible for state unemployment benefits.

Governors in 26 states have already eliminated the federal $300 benefit over the past two months. Critics argue the enhanced benefits have encouraged workers to stay at home, rather than look for work.

As of July 10, 9 million people were receiving unemployment assistance, according to the Labor Department. A study by the Century Foundation echoes the People’s Policy Project report, saying about 7.5 million of those people will still be collecting on the Sept. 6 deadline—and will no longer be entitled to any benefits after that.

That could add to a looming potential financial crisis, as housing advocates fear the end of the eviction moratorium will result in millions of people being evicted in the coming weeks and months. More than 15 million people live in households that owe as much as $20 billion to their landlords, according to the Aspen Institute. As of July 5, roughly 3.6 million people in the U.S. said they faced eviction in the next two months, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

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