Federal unemployment benefits to end a week sooner than expected

Kentuckians out of work amid the COVID-19 pandemic expecting to receive the $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit through the end of July may be surprised to learn that the benefit actually will end a week earlier than expected.

While the federal government benefit is officially set to end July 31, states will pay it only through the week ending July 25 or July 26, which could result in a significant blow to unemployed workers counting on that money to enhance state benefits that average around $370 a week nationally.

“The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) $600 can be paid for weeks ending no later than the week ending prior to Friday, July 31, 2020,” according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Labor. “For all states except (New York), that is Saturday, July 25th. New York’s end date is Sunday, July 26th.”

The last week Kentuckians can earn the $600 is the week of July 19-25. The CARES Act authorizes FPUC through Friday July 31 or the final benefit week determined by each state. Kentucky’s benefit weeks run Sunday through Saturday. The last full benefit week prior to Friday July 31 is July 19-25.

“With these benefits ending, it is imperative that Kentucky continues its progress reopening our economy and getting our people back to work,” Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts said. “The only way we can achieve this is by practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and continuing to do our part to limit the spread of this disease. The Kentucky Chamber is committed to helping our business community stay safe and stay open.”

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