About 14 Million People Lost All Unemployment Benefits On Dec 26


The PUA and PEUC programs both expired on December 26. The fate of the compromise legislation to extend benefits is uncertain.

PEUC + Primary PUA Claims

PEUC + Primary PUA Claims in 2020 Dec  23 Report

That total represents the approximate number of people who just lost benefits, but it is best to look at the PEUC and PUA programs individually.

Neither program is seasonally adjusted so the counts are real assuming the counts are not flawed in other ways.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Claims (PEUC)

PEUC Claims in 2020 Dec 23 Report

PEUC benefits kick in after people have exhausted regular state benefits. 

PEUC counts are generally accurate as states do a good job of weeding out applicants because the states, not the Federal government, are on the hook. 

There was a big jump in PEUC claims in September because that is when people in some states exhausted their state unemployment benefits.

The acceleration flattened in November as people exhausted their PEUC benefits as well. 

Thus, although accurate, the current count of 4.8 million understates the problem. 

I have more on the list of expiring state and PEUC benefits below.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Claims

Primary PUA Claims in 2020 Dec 23 Report

PUA claims cover part-time workers, the self-employed, and others who do not qualify for regular state benefits.

The PUA program is rife with fraud, double-counting, and reporting errors.

That said, some percentage of PUA claims are not fraudulent. 

But fraudulent or not, to the extent the money was paid, that number of people will no longer have money coming in. 

Fraud aside is the number of people collecting benefits closer to 9 million, 7 million, or 5 million?

Let's assume an overcount of 2 million. If so, 7 million people collected benefits. Fraudulent or not, those benefits just stopped.

Continued Claims

Continued Claims in 2020 Dec 23 Report

Continued claims represents the number of people in regular state unemployment programs.  

The number is a huge distortion of reality because people fall off the rolls as benefits expire.

When people exhaust state benefits they roll into PEUC benefits or PUA benefits, and in some cases back into state benefits.

State Level Unemployment Benefits 2020-12-10

Unemployment Insurance Changes Widely 2020-12-10

I created the above map using Center on Budget and Policy Priorities as a starting point. 

I have Florida at 12+6 although CBPP shows the number as a flat 12. 

It's a moot point as 18 weeks of benefits expired long ago no matter which is accurate.

The map keeps changing. 

State Level Unemployment Benefits 2020-10-28

Unemployment Insurance Varies Widely

Comments Oct 28 vs Dec 10

  • On October 28, the CBPP commented  "Extended Benefits (EB) have triggered on in 41 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands."
  • On December 10,  the CBPP commented "Extended Benefits (EB) have triggered on in 24 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands."

Those comments do not jive. More states, not fewer, should be in extended benefits now vs. October.

I believe the October 28 comment was incorrect.

Map Changes

The CBPP changed Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Maine, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

Those 13 states went from 26+ weeks of benefits to 26 weeks on the nose. 

I caught the South Carolina error in my previous map.

The CBPP explains:

The map shows only the maximum number of weeks of regular plus EB benefits that are currently available in each state. It does not include the weeks of benefits that the pandemic-specific programs can add through the end of the year.

Perhaps that explains the changes as I did not note either way a similar paragraph in October.

Regardless, PUA and PEUC are both dead.

Dramatic Map Worsening

The change from October to December represents a dramatic worsening of what's actually happening.

There are 26 states that provide a maximum of 26 weeks of benefits plus extended benefits.

Those benefits are expired or rapidly headed that way.

When Did State + Extended Benefits Expire?

When Did Benefits Expire

Those who started collecting unemployment benefits in mid-March or earlier and remained unemployed have already expired all of their benefits in most states. 

Those in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Idaho, Missouri, Alabama, and Arkansas who went on unemployment early and stayed there lost all of their benefits long ago.

Expiring benefits add up to a huge understatement of the problem even assuming a significant amount of PUA overcounts.

Depending on PUA overcounts, the range of those who just lost all of their benefits is likely between 12 to 16 million with 14 million as my best guess. 


Comments (42)
No. 1-11
Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

Is .guv still hiring contact tracers?


Another epic fail by the leadership.


Maybe if they had stood up against the out of proportion Covid fear, instead of acting like SHEEPL, they might be working now and not whining for more handouts. All I see on the TV is Covid scaremongering and one sob story after another of people caught in the undertow, which is something the MSM is good at presenting.

If nothing else, perhaps some of the SHEEPL will learn that they have to save for rainy days, to not have more kids than they can afford to raise, to not by that expensive car because they can make the monthly payments right now, in short, to not try to live large on a pauper's income.


I work as a supervisor in a warehouse in kansas. We can't buy help it seems. Many others are in the same boat. In fact, we have changed our attendance policy and currently aren't allowed to terminate anyone except for the most serious violations. Apparently coming to work stoned and smelling like a rock concert while screaming and yelling at machinery isn't one of them. I suspect if they don't extend these benefits we might have an easier time getting help. On the flip side, many people are afraid to work because of covid and I consider that a valid opinion. Also, lots of people just aren't cut out for this kind of work so it's not a solution and it's stupid to say stuff like "Amazon is always hiring". These production type jobs have always been a bit of a rat factory scenario but the current environment takes the cake.I spend half my night doing actual production jobs and loading trucks. Upper mgmt refuses to lower quotas and their answer is to just hire more people who stand around. We recently had a meeting with HR and were basically stripped of much of our authority. Another supervisor was pulled into HR and was threatened to be fired for losing his cool because no one will work like they're suppose to. I have heard similar horror stories from other companies.


14 million people really means 30 or 40 million when you consider many likely have family (think of the children) or other people dependent on them (elderly parents).

What happened to covid disappearing after the election? Why are 3000 people dying each day still? Why is the vaccine so slow to roll out? Not a damn word from government leadership on this either, just more clowning around.

I predict chaos in January with no food on table, evictions, and other mayhem.


No worries. All is good now. Trump signed the relief bill and saved America single handedly.


I really think this recession is a huge opportunity for government and business to work together to retrain the workforce. So many open jobs out there that just require some retraining. Very few jobs are the level of rocket or space science. Humans can be retrained but every recession fails more and more people.


100% agree. Re-training and skills upgrading is essential to reduce unemployment and under-employment. Better trained workers have a chance to earn a living wage; though that will be an endless struggle going forward.

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

Judas got 30 pieces of silver, this Bill is good for about 22.


I live in Florida and my pandemic benefit expired december 26, my Connect paige says: "your benefit year ended on 12-26-2020 failure to complete the new application by midnight on saturday of this week will result in a loss of benefit".
There is only one problem: there is no new application that I can apply for!Someone can help?


I live in Florida too. Same problem expect it says you reapply after 3 months if your still unemployed. I have been furloughed since April 4th and no pay from work. Am I suppose to magically have money for 3 months while I wait to reapply. System is so messed up. How many people like me woke up the day after Christmas with a thank you but we ain’t helping you anymore. We didnt choose for this pandemic. I was happily working when this happened now im broke like most. With no promise of any help from government.

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