Unemployment Benefits. What You Need to Know Now!

The COVID-19 pandemic has lasted over a year and we are finally beginning to feel hopeful that there is an end soon to these sober times. Through the hard times, there were a variety of benefits that you could have received if you were eligible by meeting certain criteria.

Unemployment Benefits

For example, The CARES Act that was passed in March of 2020 was created to assist single adults with a Social Security number and adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less. For married couples filing joint returns, the income limit to receive a stimulus check was $150,000. The CARES Act authorized a $600 weekly supplement to try to help. After that ran out, the Trump administration authorized another $300 per week supplement that the Biden administration re-upped in 2021 known as the American Rescue Plan Act.

If you are currently receiving unemployment benefits from the government, there will soon be an end to this. There are some critical components that you need to know about the reinstated requirements that are going back into place in some states…

    1. Proof of Search.While every state differs in the requirements they hold, overall, you are required to provide proof that you are trying to look for a job in order to receive the unemployment benefits of $300 per week. For example, you will have to provide proof of application or evidence that you took part in job training programs or hiring events. You can often find jobs listed on sites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster, FlexJobs, and The Ladder. 
    2. Changing the Requirements. As the pandemic has dragged on, a variety of states eliminated the job search requirements of providing proof that you were looking for a job such as applications or attendance in hiring events. However, with the world slowly starting to reopen, thirty-six states have put the requirement back in place or are taking the final steps to have it done soon. 
    3. Weekly Supplements. BenefitsA supplement is a monetary amount given to an individual every week to assist those affected by the pandemic. The individuals that receive the weekly check must meet the criteria of being unemployed, being partly unemployed, or cannot work for a wide variety of coronavirus-related reasons. However, with growing concern that the extra money is discouraging people from looking for and accepting new jobs, eighteen states will stop paying the federal government’s $300 unemployment supplement. Included in the thirty-six states that are reimposing search requirements are the states that also will be continuing paying the supplement until it reaches the expired date in September of 2021. This means that Americans will soon stop receiving the money given out by the government and will have to begin looking for jobs as our economy reopens.
    4. Some exceptions. With many of the job search requirements being put back into place such as proof that you are looking for a job, it is important to note that some states have exceptions to this rule. For example, in some states such as Alaska and Michigan, they have provided exceptions to this if you have medical reasons, COVID-19 related reasons, or childcare challenges. 

Why is this happening? By bringing back the work search requirements, the idea is that it will help juice the labor market and dissuade workers from waiting to return to their old employers or holding out for remote or better-paying jobs. As our economy begins to recover, some argue that the low-wage workers are denying offers and have stopped looking for employment because they are making more money from federal programs. 

States that are Resuming the unemployment work search requirements: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. 

What does this mean for companies? 

With these requirements going back into place and the stimulus expiring in September, companies will begin to see many changes occurring in their hiring process. For example, the applicant pool will be increasing, however, the conversion percentage to occurred interviews will begin to decline. This is because many Americans will be forced to provide proof that they applied to a job in order to continue to receive the weekly supplement, therefore they will apply but may not be enticed to follow through with interviews.

Good news or the bad news first? The good news is the stimulus will be going away in September for the majority of states. The bad news is if you need to fill an open position between May and September, you can not rely on job postings and will need a passive recruiting strategy like ours. One of the biggest benefits of partnering with an RPO Service Firm like JCSI, is that we do the “weeding out” of candidates for you. By working as a seamless recruitment supplement, we can work hands-on in your company and get an idea of what your culture is. That way, we can match the best-qualified candidates with your culture to ensure a long lasting successful hire. Visit our website www.jcsi.net to learn more!