WGov. Jim Justice announced Thursday that Virginia has fully paid off its federal unemployment loans received during the COVID-19 pandemic and has enough money to provide businesses with lower premium rates next year.
During the pandemic, West Virginia borrowed about $ 185 million from the federal government through Treasury loans to continue paying unemployment benefits amid historically high unemployment rates. The state managed to secure $ 220 million in government funds for the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, allowing it to pay off the loan in full and provide businesses with a 25% cut in unemployment insurance spending next year.
“This will result in significant cost savings for our West Virginia business, and I am very proud of everyone who has put in every effort to make this possible,” Justice said in a statement.
“From the outset of the pandemic, I knew we had to plan for both the short and long term so that our condition could recover as quickly as possible and continue to build on all of our recent successes,” Justice said. … “So first we ran to the fire. We’ve made sure West Virginia residents are among the first in the nation to receive an additional $ 600 per week unemployment benefit. And then, once we got back on our feet, we budget responsibly. We began to see surplus revenue month after month, and in the end we were able to set aside enough money to not only pay off this loan in full, but also put our businesses in a prime position for the future. ”
If the government was unable to repay the entire loan by September 4, businesses would face an automatic increase in their unemployment insurance premiums based on a financing structure that reimburses businesses for losses. Many businesses are still recovering from losses caused by the pandemic and subsequent economic constraints.