Updated: Dec 28, 2020
The bill text has finally been released. Full text is here. It's over 5,000 pages because it is wrapped into the omnibus bill. ADDITIONAL CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE AND RELIEF starts on page 1924.
A vote is expected late tonight on it.
Our official statement on the bill is here.
Basics in the bill that relate to our mission statement of asks:
11 added weeks for PUA & PEUC claims and an extension of the expiration date (details below)
$300 FPUC added to all claims for 11 wks (no retroactivity)
$100 added for people who would have been eligible for a decent sized PUA benefit, but only qualified for a small UI benefit instead (mixed income earners fix)
Some rent relief ($25B) + 1 month extension of the eviction moratorium (now expires .
$600 "stimulus” checks
15% increase for SNAP (food assistance)
Funding for live entertainment venues (Save Our Stages), museums, movie theaters, and zoos
A second round of PPP
Funding for vaccine distribution
More highlight items as a summary here.
Some details on relevant items from the full text (we will keep adding to this list as we read and learn more):
There will be a “soft cut off” of unemployment benefits. On March 14th the PUA and PEUC programs will “end,” not allowing any new claims. BUT if you still have weeks left you can continue to claim until April 4th. On April 4th both programs will end regardless of any remaining weeks.
(This is a tactic so that the media can’t report about any more “benefits cliffs”, demanding action from the federal government.)
The $300 will be added onto all PUA and UI claims from December 26th through March 14th.
States can waive PUA and LWA overpayments.
There are new documentation requirements for PUA claims. New PUA claimants will now be required to provide income documentation within 21 days. Continuing claimants (claims made before 1/31/21) will have to provide this within 90 days. For continuing claims, payments can't be taken back for weeks before this bill because of lack of documentation.
(This is a huge burden for workers and state UI offices. We do not have further information on how this will be implemented. It will be up to each state’s DOL to handle. Keep an eye on your unemployment portal for required document submission and check your DOL's website after the bill is passed. This is a problematic provision, but it is, at least, good to see that payments that have already been paid cannot be revoked.)
For mixed income earners: The bill provides a federally funded $100 per week additional benefit to individuals who have at least $5,000 a year in self-employment income (1099) but are disqualified from receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance because they are eligible for regular state unemployment benefits. This mixed-earner supplemental benefit would be added to the FPUC and would terminate along with it on March 14, 2021. This provision would be effective for future unemployment benefit payments after a state chose to make an agreement with the Department of Labor.
(This means states must “opt-in” to the program. This is problematic considering many states may choose to not opt-in because they are not sure how to implement it.)
New "return to work reporting". (We will be looking further into this.)
Information on the rent relief and housing measures here.
More details on unemployment provisions from Michele Evermore are here.
For those asking about whether they will have to reapply for PUA if your PUA has already expired, we unfortunately do not have an answer to this. Each state may handle it differently so please check with your state's Department of Labor for details once the bill is passed.
Read our official statement on the importance and inadequacy of the bill here
Donate to help our unemployed founders continue to fund this work here.