Biden unemployment plan: $400 weekly boost, extra benefits for six months


  • President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion economic package, the American Rescue Plan, Thursday night.
  • The Covid relief proposal would extend unemployment benefits by about six months, through September 2021. Workers would also get a $400 weekly boost to their jobless benefits.
  • The pandemic relief package would also seek to add automatic triggers, tied to health and economic conditions, to prevent another benefits cliff.

President-elect Joe Biden’s pandemic relief package would extend income support for millions of unemployed workers through September 2021 and increase jobless benefits by $400 a week, according to an outline obtained by CNBC.

Biden would also phase out higher unemployment benefits automatically over time, tying aid to economic and health conditions, according to the plan.

Such a measure would relieve Congress of drawing up new relief measures every few months, thereby avoiding a benefits cliff like one workers experienced in December.

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The unemployment provisions are part of a $1.9 trillion package, the American Rescue Plan, Biden plans to unveil in a speech Thursday night.

It comes on the heels of a $900 billion relief measure passed at the end of last month.

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That law extended unemployment benefits by 11 weeks to mid-March. (Some workers can get four additional weeks.) It also gave a $300 weekly boost to standard benefits, which generally replace half a worker’s lost income.

Biden would up that supplement to $400 a week. That would be less than a $600 weekly enhancement provided by the CARES Act, and on par with a subsequent Trump administration Lost Wages Assistance subsidy.


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