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U.S. workers get improved unemployment benefits as Biden signs stimulus package

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Millions of anxious and unemployed Americans breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing that they will continue to receive – uninterrupted – additional weekly federal unemployment benefits until early September after President Joe Biden enacted the plan on Thursday. $ 1.9 trillion stimulus known as the American Bailout Act of 2021.

Biden’s signing comes just days before the expiration of improved federal unemployment benefits set by previous stimulus packages. Under the new plan, nearly a third of U.S. households who are currently unemployed or who will lose their jobs this summer will receive federal unemployment benefits of $ 300 per week – in addition to standard benefit levels – until September 6, 2021. In addition, up to $ 10,200 in unemployment benefits received in 2020 will be tax exempt for households with incomes below $ 150,000. (Note: The IRS is working on updates to the 2020 tax form to reflect the new exemption. If you’ve already filed your 2020 tax return, don’t rush to file an amended return – wait for the IRS issues instructions.)

The US bailout, which was finalized by the House on Wednesday in a strongly partisan 220-211 vote (with a Democrat voting no), is the latest iteration of federal aid to health and the economy to cushion the blows of the new coronavirus which, since March 2020, has significantly hampered the US economy.

Extended unemployment benefit costs account for around 13% of the package’s $ 1.9 trillion budget, which also includes a new round of stimulus checks, an improved child tax credit, tenant relief and more Again. The original version of the bill, approved by the House on February 27, provided for federal unemployment benefits of $ 400 a week until the end of September, but a host of last-minute compromises between Conservatives and Progressives in the Senate, in order to gain the approval of all Democratic senators, ultimately reduced payments by $ 100 per week and reduced the payment period to three weeks.

Democratic lawmakers say extending the deadline for granting additional federal unemployment benefits until early September will hopefully prevent millions of Americans from losing those benefits abruptly when the Senate is on recess. summer. That’s what happened last summer, forcing millions of unemployed Americans to worry about making up that extra income.

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