Secretary Mnuchin Warns Unemployment Beneficiaries

Return to work if you are asked to, he urges.

In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned that individuals who reject an offer from their company to return to work after being laid off due to the coronavirus are no longer considered eligible to receive federal unemployment benefits.

The secretary said that companies receiving benefits under the Payroll Protection Plan who are inviting employees who had been furloughed or laid off to return to work should plan to notify state unemployment offices of their offers.

If the employee turns down the job, they will then lose their eligibility to receive expanded unemployment benefits.

“If you offer a person a job… and that person does not take the job… then that person would not be allowed to get unemployment,” he reiterated.

The CARES Act passed by Congress allowed for an extra $600 to be provided a week for four months to those losing their jobs amid the crisis. Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that about half of U.S. workers can earn more with these jobless benefits than they did while working — a factor that could hurt the efforts of some businesses to reopen.

The average state gives out $463 per week in unemployment benefits which, when combined with the new $600 per week, gave an average individual around $1,063 per week, the equivalent of more than $26 an hour, often more than they would make if employed.

Under the Phase 4 legislation passed in the House last week, the unemployment benefits would extend through January 2021. That measure has not yet come up in the Senate.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the Senate when they take up the $3 trillion virus relief Phase 4 package passed by the House.
  • For people who are unemployed and collecting benefits to be aware of losing those benefits if they are invited to return to work and reject the offer.

Sources: The Hill, Fox


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