From the Star Ledger:
With approximately 500,000 New Jerseyans set to lose pandemic unemployment benefits after the first week of September, Gov. Phil Murphy won’t say if he will extend the federal payments.
At his Monday coronavirus briefing, Murphy said he had “no news” about the prospect of extending benefits.
President Joe Biden last week said states with unemployment rates that are higher than the national average — 5.4% — could use COVID relief funds to extend benefits beyond the Sept. 4 expiration date.
New Jersey’s unemployment rate is 7.3% and it received $6.2 billion in federal funds from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
Without an extension, three federal programs will end.
About 250,000 New Jerseyans are currently receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), the Labor Department said. The program gives benefits to people who wouldn’t normally qualify for traditional unemployment, including gig workers and the self-employed.
Another 190,000 people receive Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation (PUEC), which adds 13 weeks of benefits for people who exhaust their regular payments. But of those, about 100,000 people will be moved onto a different extended benefit program, the Labor Department said.
In all, about 500,000 people have been receiving an additional $300 per week supplemental payment, but that will also end on Sept. 4.