As Congress breaks for Thanksgiving, 12 million Americans may lose jobless benefits on December 26

Unless Congress can agree on a new stimulus deal in the next few weeks, an estimated 12 million workers will lose their unemployment benefits on December 26, according to a new report from The Century Foundation, a progressive think tank, leaving them with “little or no means of support” in the new year.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Alicia Adamczyk
November 19, 2020

Tags: COVID-19, Unemployment, Unemployment Insurance


Without a deal, federal funding will lapse for two key unemployment programs on Dec. 26 because of deadlines written into the CARES Act in March: The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which extended unemployment benefits to gig workers and freelancers who don’t normally qualify, and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which provides an extra 13 weeks of UI to those who have exhausted their state’s benefits.

An estimated 12 million workers — more than half of the 21 million people currently collecting UI — will be receiving jobless benefits from those two programs at that time, according to TCF’s report, and are at risk of falling off a benefits cliff.

Another 4.4 million workers will have already exhausted their benefits, meaning more than 16 million people “will be heading into 2021 with little or no aid available to them,” the report says.