With layoffs at near-Depression levels, the CARES Act benefits have been credited by economists with allowing families to stay in their homes and buy necessities. But 68% of recipients are receiving more from the benefits than they had made on the job, according to a University of Chicago study. That has spurred criticism from some Republicans.
The $600-a-week component is scheduled to end this week, though Democrats in Congress want to keep paying that amount.
Making a percentage calculation would require a reshaping of the state’s software and slow the processing of claims, Butler said. “We said, ‘just give us a stationary number. Pick a number – the program is already written and you just have to change the number.’ We told the folks in Washington not to do a percentage, but here we are.”
The most recent proposals would give the state two months to make the transition to that new program.
“We think we could probably hit that target,” Butler said. “But I am making some grand assumptions.”
More than 3.2 million jobless claims have been processed in Georgia. About 1.4 million have been judged valid. Meanwhile, cases of the coronavirus have risen across much of the country – including Georgia.
Butler said he is anxiously awaiting some kind of Congressional compromise.
“If it’s something simple, you’ll know I’m relieved,” he said. “If there is a bunch of algebra and trigonometry, you’ll know I’m not happy.”