Extend California EDD Pandemic Unemployment Benefits
Extend California EDD Pandemic Unemployment Benefits
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As the September 6th end date for the federal pandemic provisions for unemployment rapidly approaches, Californians are in desperate need of support from their state government officials. Pandemic unemployment programs have been a lifeline for millions who lost their source of income due to the pandemic, and with the end of PEUC, PUA, MEUC, and the $300 boost approaching within days, many Californians remain unable to find suitable work or engage in self employment as they continue to experience both the lasting long-term effects of the pandemic as well as experience a new surge in cases with the Delta variant leading to additional complications returning to work. As over 2 million unemployed PEUC and PUA claimants prepare to lose their benefits in mere days, they urgently need support from their state representatives.
According to the California Department of Public Health, as of August 25th 2021, California has 4,145,550 confirmed cases to date. There were 11,899 newly reported confirmed cases Tuesday and cases are increasing statewide to their highest level since early February 2021.
While some are able to resume or begin work, rebuild their businesses, or reengage in self employment, with a surge in cases and the end of these federal benefits those who are unable to find suitable work, who are immunocompromised or have immuno compromised children/family members, who must quarantine with school aged children after exposure, who are unable to find work paying a wage which covers the high cost of living in the state of California, and many other issues are left uncertain as to how they will be able to move forward and provide for themselves and their families after September 6th.
While unemployed workers and previously self employed individuals struggle to find safe, suitable work, the US Bureau of Labor statistics stated that California holds the second highest state unemployment rate, with the July unemployment rate coming in at 7.6%. According to the California Economic Forecast put out by the State of California's Department of Finance, the state's unemployment rate is not projected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.
With the stress and uncertainty of a convergence of workforce-related issues, notably the inability to find suitable work, the ineffectiveness and glitch-ridden problems experiences with the CA EDD, a rise in covid cases, a high unemployment rate, and the cliff for the cutoff of federal pandemic unemployment benefits, California governor Gavin Newsom's most recent substantive commentary on the California EDD were back in May. Since
speaking on the budget allocations for allocating funds for improvement of the EDD, the governor has not yet addressed unemployment issues to California residents and they are in desperate need of communication.
Following Treasury Secretary Yellen's letter stating that “in states where a more gradual wind down of income support for unemployed workers makes sense based on local economic conditions, American Rescue Plan funds can be activated to cover the cost of providing assistance to unemployed workers beyond September 6th” . Based on this information, While California residents are left with a need to hear from the governor on if California will be impacted by this statement, and if there is a possibility for PEUC and PUA to be continued in any capacity utilizing the funds from the ARPA.
California's allocation from the ARPA's 350B state and local fund pool was in the amount of $27B. California Department of Finance states that “The American Recovery Plan Act provided $27 billion in fiscal recovery funds for the state to allocate. That entire amount was allocated as part of the final 2021 state budget that was approved last month, to there are no funds that remain unallocated. “ Regardless of if the funding can be re-allocated to include extended weeks or not, California's unemployed need to hear clear communication from their leaders in order to know what to expect. Unfortunately, we do not yet have a statement from governor Gavin Newsom regarding the letter granting permission to use ARPA funds for unemployment.
As California's unemployment claimants reach the cliff of the end of federal pandemic unemployment programs on September 6th, we call upon Governor Gavin Newsom to do the following:
1) Consider reallocating funds from the state/local funds from the ARP to extend PEUC and PUA for additional weeks in order to bring essential aid to unemployed Californians while they continue to resume suitable work amidst a heavily impacted workforce and economy.
2) Issue a statement immediately to California's unemployment claimants who have relied upon these benefits and communicate clearly the following pieces of important information:
-Does California have the ability to re-allocate any state/local funds from the ARP for the use of extended unemployment benefits as described in Secretary Yellen's statement?
-If those funds are in fact available to be re-allocated, will California commit to providing additional week of unemployment benefits, and if so in what amount?
If you need information on EDD related issues, you may view informative videos + ask questions here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEz8nZeCAei1N52gnVxkCMg