WASHINGTON, DC (FOX Carolina) South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham introduced an amendment that would correct pandemic unemployment assistance.
Right now, the unemployment benefits have seen an estimated 70-80% of unemployed people making more on unemployment, than they did at their jobs.
“This amendment will help bring the system back into balance. Reshaping the unemployment benefit to continue helping people – but not paying them more in unemployment than they made when they were working – is very important to me," Sen. Graham said.
Under the amendment, those in South Carolina who are unemployed would continue to receive up to $326 from the state. The current $600 per month federal unemployment benefits would be lowered to $500 for the months of August and September.
On October 1, an unemployed individual would continue to receive the weekly funding from the state, plus up to $500 of a federal benefit, which would cover up to 100% of an unemployed individual's pre-pandemic wages.
“I’m sympathetic to those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and want to help make them whole,” said Graham. “However, we cannot continue the $600 per week federal benefit which is now paying unemployed South Carolinians over $48,000 a year. In many cases someone on unemployment has received a pay raise and is making more on unemployment than they did at their job. It’s also unfair to the teachers, police officers, firemen, healthcare workers, and others who continue to get up and go to work to have someone on unemployment making more by staying home."
Some key points brought forth in the amendment are:
- Ensures that states are reimbursed for 75 percent of unemployment costs for nonprofit, government agency, and Indian tribe employees.
- Includes $2 billion to assist state unemployment systems in upgrading unemployment systems and ensuring better program integrity.
- Provides $1.15 billion to states to process unemployment claims and upgrade systems.
- Includes an emergency declaration to address pay-go concerns.
The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, South Carolina Retail Association, and National Federation of Independent Business recently wrote to the South Carolina congressional delegation expressing concern about the continuation of a $600 per week federal supplement - saying it's harming South Carolina businesses.
“The additional $600 per week unemployment payment has caused many South Carolina businesses to face ‘recall resistance’ from employees because the extra-large benefit exceeds many individuals’ prior weekly earnings,” wrote the organizations.