As businesses continue reopening nationwide, and more people become vaccinated against COVID-19, there are changes coming to unemployment benefits that may affect 2 million Americans that are still without work.
As of Friday, more than a dozen GOP-led states have announced plans to prematurely discontinue the federal jobless aid programs this summer before their official expiration date of September 6, 2021, Fox News reported.
At least 18 states plan to drop out of the program that provides an extra $300 per week in addition to regular state unemployment benefits. The payments could stop as early as June 12 in some of the states.
The 18 states cutting off the extra payments include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Data published by the Century Foundation, a non-profit think tank estimates the early withdrawal will affect close to 2 million people living in those states. They will forego roughly $10.9 billion in assistance, the report also showed.
The supplemental unemployment benefits were part of President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan which passed in March.
In a White House press conference on Monday, Biden told reports that he was confident Americans are not staying at home to collect the extra unemployment benefits.
"We don't see much evidence of that," Biden said. "Americans want to work."
He continued, “We’re going to make it clear to anyone collecting unemployment who is offered a suitable job they must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits.”