Unemployment benefits during pandemic nearing $60 billion in California 

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)Unemployment benefits for out-of-work Californians since this historic pandemic began now total $59.8 billion to support families and communities struggling during this economic crisis. Over the same timeframe, the Employment Development Department (EDD) has processed more than 9.7 million claims for benefits between the regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) program, extensions, and separate Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Just last week, the EDD paid an average of $792 million a day in unemployment benefits. That amount is a 1,033% increase over the $70 million in average daily benefits paid during a similar week at the height of the Great Recession (week ending July 31, 2010).

Status of federal $600 stimulus payment for unemployment benefits 

The EDD is closely monitoring federal proposals about regular UI, federal extensions, and PUA benefits. The extra $600 federal stimulus payment authorized in the CARES Act earlier this year can no longer be paid for any weeks of unemployment from July 26 forward, unless the federal government takes further action. Any weeks of benefits a claimant is eligible for between March 29 and July 25 can still get the extra $600 added, even if those payments are processed later. 

 Without the stimulus payments, claimants will still receive the weekly benefit amount they qualify for on their regular UI, extension, or PUA claim. Those weekly amounts range from $40 – $450 a week for regular UI and from $167 – $450 for PUA, depending on income earned previously. 

 The EDD will keep all of our customers posted on any developments that may lead to the return of additional federal stimulus payments. 

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