Unemployed Americans Are About to Lose $600 Unemployment Checks

July 16, 2020

That $600 unemployment check from the federal government that helped millions of people pay for rent and other critical expenses during the COVID-19 crisis will end a week before most people expected.

Although the program is authorized through July 31, final payments will end July 25, according to state and federal officials. 

“Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) is not payable for any week of unemployment ending after Friday, July 31, 2020. A week of unemployment starts on a Sunday and ends on Saturday; therefore, pursuant to the Federal guidance, the last week that FPUC can be paid in Florida is the week ending Saturday, July 25, 2020,” Paige Landrum, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Economic Opportunity, said in an email. 

The July 25 expiration date came as a surprise to several unemployed workers and legal aid lawyers who represent them. 

“I get a daily update from the DEO, and I don’t recall them mentioning when the benefits are ending, I have not talked to a single client who realized they were ending until I told them,” said Laurie Yadoff, director of an economic advocacy project at Coast-to-Coast Legal Aid of South Florida.

The end of the $600 weekly program poses an immediate threat to the patchwork safety net that Congress, state, and local government agencies stitched together for the millions who lost their jobs and who have housing and other domestic financial obligations to meet every month. 

“What I am worried about is that Congress doesn’t act by the 25th, most people don’t know they’re not going to get that enhanced benefit. People are going to be very surprised when they don’t get a benefit in the last week of July,” said Michele Evermore, an analyst at the National Employment Law Project in Washington, D.C.

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