Jobless payments in Delaware during pandemic total more than $770 million

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$600 a week payment ends

Delaware has paid out more than $770 million in unemployment compensation benefits during the pandemic period from March to the waning days of July.

In its weekly report, the Delaware Department of Labor reported that the traditional unemployment insurance system accounted for the bulk of the payments. The federal government kicks in about two-thirds of the cost, with the state kicking in the remaining third.

The state Labor Department has received nearly 126,000 unemployment claims that have challenged its ability to handle the workload.

blankPandemic assistance payments of $600 a week ended as of a week ago. The Senate adjourned without coming up with an agreement.

Democrats have pressed for continuing the $600 a week benefit, with Republicans seeking either a reduced figure or no additional jobless benefits.

Pending claims for pandemic compensation will continue to be processed by the state Department of Labor.

Some employers have complained that the payments were so high that staff did not want to return to work or were unhappy with their paychecks when being called back. In many cases, the $600 a week benefit, plus traditional jobless benefits amounted to more than their previous pay.

The total paid through the pandemic program in Delaware was $68.3 million.

The state received 10,435 pandemic unemployment claims, with about 70 percent of the applications approved.

See the accompanying graphic for further information.

The state’s maximum of $400 a week in unemployment compensation will continue.

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