What's in the proposals to replace COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

Some of the financial safety nets put into place to help families struggling to pay bills during this pandemic are gone, but the economic problems we are facing are not.

There’s a new group of economy-patching proposals under an umbrella called the HEALS Act. This is why this is important: The $600 federal unemployment supplement is gone July 31. One of two new proposals that fill that gap is from the House, and it would extend it through Jan. 31, 2021.

The Senate proposal would reduce the supplement to $200 a week through Oct. 5. But after the Oct. deadline, the payment would increase making sure it covers 70% of lost wages when combined with state unemployment.

Some folks agree we need more help – another safety net. 

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But one of the arguments for not extending it comes from folks who believe more government money becomes a disincentive to work. So FOX 5's Dana Fowle asked a conservative economist from the Goizueta Business School what he thought about that notion.

“I think there are always going to be a one-off, two-off, maybe 10-off cases where you think, I know this person is not working because he’s being disincentivized, and I was certainly in that bucket as well where I thought people were being disincentivized to work,” Tom Smith told Fowle.

“But it looks like the data is telling a different story. It looks like the story that the data is telling us is the people who were receiving this, maybe they were paying down their credit card debt. Their savings rates were going up. They are going back to work, and putting in a lot of hours,” he said.

SEE MORE: Second stimulus check details revealed: Who is eligible?

Let’s look at the stimulus checks again. For those eligible, there was $1,200 with $500 for each eligible dependent.

If we see another stimulus check, one proposal looks like the old one except there will be no limit on the age of the dependent. It was 17 under the CARES ACT.

Also proposed is that the checks, if they are to come to fruition, can’t be taken by debt collectors or other bank garnishments.

This all matters. A lot. The federal moratorium on evictions is up. So, no jobs, no safety nets, and no place to live. And it’s hitting folks from Bankhead to Buckhead.

“People start to lose the message behind the economics if you start putting a red cap or a blue cap on. But I will say there is a time and place for economic stimulus. It’s a proven method for economic churn and that’s what we need,” Smith said.

We are officially in a recession and it shows no signs of abating. Congress will have to do something, but we don’t know what that looks like yet.

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