Wisconsin asks residents to return $ 300 unemployed aid

Wisconsin residents are being asked to receive an additional $ 300 in weekly unemployment benefits if Congress enacted new legislation to replace unemployed aid created by President Trump’s executive action last month to refund them money. Being asked for

Labor and unemployment experts worry that this may confuse many American workers, what to do at a time when the money ordered by Trump has already been delayed and Congress failed to pass a new aid package for the unemployed is. Some lawmakers say it is unlikely that more financial relief will reach Americans before November.

If Republicans and Democrats agree for new aid in the future, unemployed people seeking federal benefits could be seen as double-handed: they would receive retrospective salaries from the new law, even if they were to get through Trump’s executive action Must have already been paid from

Heid Shirholz says, “This confusion only results in a greater administrative burden in times when people are living longer without benefits, declining living standards and increasing poverty. Senior economists and the left Director of Policy at the Institute of Economic Policy.

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A spokesman for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development said the state is following the guidance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is funding Trump’s Lost Wages Assistance Program and the Department of Labor. However, FEMA said states manage the program while the agency provides funds.

It is still unclear how widespread it is beyond Wisconsin. Colorado, Indiana, Georgia, Iowa, Alabama, Idaho, Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Alaska and Nebraska said they are not advising the recipient to return the money.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission said it would monitor legislation from Congress, and said it would ensure that any future guidelines are provided from the Department of Labor.

The $ 300 weekly benefit is retroactive to Aug. 1 for qualifying workers. Wisconsin’s DWD does not anticipate that it will be forced to withdraw aid from claimants, though its own website posted a warning to residents trying to file unemployment claims.

A spokesman said it was unclear whether future support from Congress would be withdrawn on August 1.

DWD is anticipating that if Congress passes the new law, it will begin to end Trump’s Lost Wages Assistance Program once it expires on September 5 so as not to overlap, he said .

pay more?

Still, a potential overpayment issue threatens to create problems in other states beyond Wisconsin if Congress allows retrospective payments to overlap, experts say. States may be skeptical about how to recover money if people were overpaid, he warned.

Andrew Stetner, an unemployment expert and senior fellow at The Century Foundation, a think tank, says “it is more likely that Congress can support a new relief program that already distributes money to states from the Lost Wages Assistance Program” . ”

“If Congress does not address this in the new relief package, there will be an overdue situation for many unemployed Americans around the country that will need to be resolved,” he said.

‘Nightmare’ scenario for unemployed Americans

Michelle Evermore, senior researcher and policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, believed that something like this could happen while running into states to start Trump’s Lost Wages Assistance Program when it was implemented in August. The program replaces the $ 600 federal unemployment supplement that expired in late July.

“It would be bad for unemployed Americans and the state’s unemployment systems if people are forced to return the money,” Evermore says. “Wisconsin is not wrongly required to share a disclaimer. It is worth telling people that this temporary benefit is uncertain.”

In August, President Trump called for jointly funded unemployed benefits for workers who were unemployed due to the epidemic for $ 300 a week following halted coronovirus aid talks in Congress.

Trump instructed FEMA to run a $ 300-per-week relief program through its disaster relief fund, which would be capped at $ 44 billion. It was supposed to last until December. But experts predict that funds will be exhausted to the states after about five or six weeks from the beginning of August, with those working without additional assistance within a few weeks after failing to pass another aid package within this month Americans threatened to leave.

And some states, including Arizona, Missouri and Montana, have already exhausted funds. And Texas said on Wednesday that disbursements of the additional $ 300 would end for the week ending Sept. 5.

The latest failed attempt to strike an agreement in Washington may be the last opportunity for lawmakers to reach an agreement on an incentive bill before the election in November. Some economists say the lapse in aid could cause trouble for domestic spending, accounting for more than two-thirds of US economic growth.

According to the Department of Labor, approximately 30 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits. Data from the Brookings Institution show about 41% of one’s lost salary in state unemployment programs.

“Some people cannot cover their basic needs on regular state benefits. “It is getting harder until the economy recovers,” says Streitner. People make more drastic decisions by either raiding their 401 (k) homes or selling their homes by creating a huge disparity in America. May be forced to. “

Almost all states, except South Dakota, have applied for funding through FEMA. So far, at least 22 of them have started defying funds.

States generally cannot pay unemployment insurance that is not authorized by Congress. They have therefore been forced to reconfigure their systems to distribute funds, resulting in long delays.

Wisconsin, a key swing state in the US election, was approved to provide an additional $ 300 a week in federal aid for three weeks to unemployed recipients due to lost wages from the epidemic. And additional weeks of funding will be determined later on a weekly basis.

But the state warned last week that it could take eight weeks to restart the state’s unemployment system to defy funds.

States lack guidance without new legislation

Guidance from the US Department of Labor suggests that the Lost Wages Assistance Program from the Trump administration should end if Congress passes new legislation providing supplementary unemployment benefits, including extending the federal pandemic unemployment compensation program that ended in July.

Still, according to the Department of Labor, the question cannot be answered until new laws provide guidance that money provided by Trump’s program should be returned to the people.

Essentially, the federal government is saying that it is yet to determine how potential payments will be repaid through the program. Has left the door open for states like Wisconsin to know how to recoup money, a Wisconsin-based labor and employment lawyer who specializes in unemployment cases.

“Wisconsin has made an administrative interpretation of what the law allows,” Forberger argues, arguing that when the state becomes overcrowded, it is too aggressive.

To be sure, it is possible that Wisconsin may abdicate its authority, some experts argue, because there is nothing in the current declaration that states would require people to pay damages wage aid.

The Department of Labor directed USA Today to contact FEMA for comment.

“FEMA provides funding, states operate the program,” FEMA told USA Today in an email statement. “FEMA cannot predict whether people will be eligible or ineligible to receive Lost Veg Assistance. Eligibility determination is done at the state level. “

How could people return funds

It is unclear how people will return the money, but there are a few ways that this can happen.

If Congress passes a new advanced unemployment program, people can reduce their predecessor federal payments, says Shirholz. He said that under the new program they could be paid in full, but they would have to pay back what they had to pay.

Contribution: Brent Schrotenberger and Charis Jones