Lawsuits challenge Gov. Stitt’s decision to end federal pandemic unemployment supplement

Supplements


“Her unemployment is her only source of income. If she does not get the federal unemployment benefits, she cannot afford living expenses for the next two months,” attorney Chadwick Smith wrote on behalf of his client.

A judge scheduled a hearing in that case for July 20.

The federal government implemented a series of additional unemployment benefits last year for people affected by the coronavirus pandemic when it became clear that traditional state-funded unemployment wasn’t enough.

Along with the $300 FPUC payments, people could receive Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which extended unemployment benefits beyond the traditional 26-week cutoff, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which provided benefits to workers who don’t otherwise qualify, such as self-employed and gig workers.

Another program, called Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation, was later adopted to give an additional $100 per week in benefits to individuals who received at least $5,000 of self-employment income in the most recent taxable year and were not receiving PUA benefits.

These federal programs are scheduled to end in September, but some states have ended their participation early. Gov. Kevin Stitt announced in May that Oklahoma would terminate participation after June 26, citing a worker shortage that has left some employers scrambling to fill ranks after a year of economic turmoil.



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