Jobless Americans in Indiana, Texas, and Maryland are attempting to sue their states for opting out of the extra federal unemployment benefits early. The states, amongst others, have begun pulling out of the pandemic-era relief program citing a major rise in employment opportunities in the states.
The three states are among the 26 states – nearly all of which are led by Republican governors – that decided last month to prematurely end one of three federal unemployment programs that provided out-of-work Americans with an extra $300 a week, on top of their regular state benefits, and extended eligibility for contract workers as well as those who had exhausted their regular state benefits.
The supplemental benefit is not slated to expire until Sept. 6, 2021. Congress created the programs in March 2020 and voted twice to extend them. Roughly 4 million people will lose their jobless aid as a result of the new policies, according to one estimate from the left-leaning Century Foundation.
Unemployed residents in Indiana were the first to take legal action in an attempt to block the state’s push to end pandemic unemployment benefit programs; in mid-June, two nonprofit groups sued Gov. Eric Holcomb, arguing that he had “violated the clear mandates of Indiana’s unemployment statute — to secure all rights and benefits available for unemployed individuals.”
A state judge ruled Friday that Indiana must continue paying the federal money to roughly 230,000 Hoosiers until the lawsuit is decided, arguing a “preponderance of evidence” suggested the early termination of the program violates state law.
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