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70,000 Oregonians face Christmas Day Expiration of Jobless Benefits

By Oregon Small Business Association

While Scrooge may tear unemployment benefits from up to 70,000 Oregonians the day after Christmas, when the federal CARES Act expires, most may be given a 13-week reprieve with a shift to a new program.

Congress extended the unemployment benefits awarded under the CARES Act passed in March from 26 weeks to 39, meaning most recipients will receive their last unemployment assistance check Dec. 26, according to the Oregonian/Oregon Live. Congress also created the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for self-employed workers who normally don’t qualify for help.

The Oregon Unemployment Department said many workers will receive 13 additional weeks of payments under an Extended Benefits program. Those who qualify will receive a letter notifying them of the shift in programs.

Nationally, the CARES Act provided helped 12 million Americans through 2020. Congress hasn’t indicated yet whether an additional financial relief package will be forthcoming.