Pandemic Unemployment Assistance safety net ends December 31

Since the pandemic hit pushing millions of Americans away from regular paychecks, the CARES Act created a patchwork of financial Band-Aids, and one of those is about to expire.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance was the lifesaving unemployment check more than 300,000 Georgians needed. As businesses closed their doors, some for a short time, some for a few months, and some permanently, it left many without a paycheck. PUA was designed to help those who don’t usually get to claim unemployment - the gig or contract workers. 

This was a 39-week lifesaver. For those who started getting this benefit at the beginning, last week the checks wrapped up. But the program as a whole is coming to end December 31st. So far the CARES Act doesn’t include any additional benefits once this is over.  This has nothing to do with Georgia Dept. of Labor. I chatted Kersha Cartwright, GA DOL spokesperson about this about whether the feds would extend it

"That is a Congress decision that has to be made to go back in and decide to extend the CARES Act or put in place a different program or whatever they decide to do from Congress’s point of view, that’s what we will implement here."

This will mean for some workers who aren’t working right now a loss of anywhere from $149 - $365 a week. It’s a significant loss of income during a pandemic economy. 

Dept. of Labor's executive teams thinks something will come. They don't know if it’ll be  supplemental program, or an extension of the current program though. And that’s not even a given. We just don’t know yet.