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Will extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits be extended or replaced by ‘back-to-work’ bonus?

Trump administration pushing for new ‘back-to-work’ bonus

DETROIT – With the extra $600 in unemployment benefits during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis set to expire next month, will the weekly payment be extended or replaced by a new “back-to-work” bonus?

President Donald Trump’s administration wants to replace the $600 unemployment payment with a new “back-to-work” bonus. But Democrats are pushing to extend the weekly payment until next year.

What does this mean for Michigan residents collecting unemployment right now?

Millions of Americans, and around 1.3 million Michiganders, are collecting unemployment right now. They’re receiving the $600 enhanced unemployment benefit weekly.

But that’s set to expire July 31.

The Trump administration wants to end the payments and replace them with a cash bonus encouraging people to rejoin the work force.

“The idea is to give a bonus to incentivize people to come off of unemployment and go back to work,” financial expert Kirk Cassidy said. “For many people who are collecting almost $900 a week right now -- that is significantly more than they were making when they were working.”

Trump hasn’t revealed how much the bonus would be worth and whether it would be paid out in one lump sum or added to the money people receive as they head back to work.

“I think there’s going to be additional help needed and I think that the debate is just what form are they going to do it in?” Cassidy said. “Is it going to be incentivize them to go back to work? Try to incentivize the small business owners to hire? Or is it to extend unemployment?"

Democrats think the move is premature, saying while some have returned to their former jobs, they’re not sure how many new jobs will be created after July and how many people will be able to make a living.

Democrats are pushing to continue the $600 payments through the end of the year.

“I get the unemployment system and the technology is a little outdated so it makes some of these ideas a little more difficult, but I hope that they come to some sort of compromise,” Cassidy said.

The debate is still ongoing and no decision has been made. But many people believe there’s a lot at stake politically for both sides.

Both parties want to show during an election year that they’re doing the most for the American worker.


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