What do you need to know about unemployment benefits at this time?

President Trump signed an executive order to extend the enhanced pandemic unemployment assistance benefit, which was previously $600 and expired on July 31.   

Tell us about the executive order to extend pandemic unemployment assistance.

President Trump’s executive order extends this benefit to those who are still seeking employment. The rule mandates disaster relief funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to pay up to $400 for the new unemployment benefit. States are required to contribute 25% of the benefit, and the federal government will pay the remaining. Since many states are already contributing toward unemployment, many will only see an additional $300 per week.

What should individuals know about their unemployment benefits in the State of Louisiana? 

In the State of Louisiana, starting August 9th, those seeking unemployment benefits must report work searches. Before the pandemic, Governor John Bel Edwards suspended this requirement. Generally, unemployed workers are required to contact three businesses per week. To receive unemployment benefits, individuals will have to provide their work search. Keep in mind; the current unemployment benefit is up to $247 per week.  

Are unemployment benefits taxable?  

When it comes to taxes, note that unemployment benefits are considered taxable income.  For this reason, this is a good time to determine if you can expect an additional tax liability as a result of your benefits.  Individuals who receive unemployment benefits can elect to have taxes withheld from their pay by completing Form W4V –Volunteering Withholding Requests and submitting their form to the unemployment office.

Kemberley Washington is a certified public accountant and owner of Washington CPA Services, LLC.  She writes a blog at kemberley.com and 21daysof.com.  Check out her online classes at kemversity.com.

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