CARES Act Takes Time for States to Implement


For Immediate Release: April 1, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, 208-332-3570 x 2102

Idaho, like all states, will need to change its unemployment insurance system in order to make payments to people authorized to receive additional benefits under the CARES Act.

Congress passed the CARES Act – which includes numerous provisions affecting the national unemployment insurance program – and Pres. Donald Trump signed it last week.

Workers, such as the self-employed and those paid by 1099 or in the gig economy, may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits under the Act.

Idaho is working with the federal government to implement the necessary changes as quickly as possible. The U.S. Department of Labor is preparing detailed guidance on how states should proceed. Once USDOL issues the guidance, it will take the states some time to develop and implement changes.

The Idaho Department of Labor is currently processing unemployment insurance applications under existing state law and a proclamation signed by Gov. Brad Little on March 27. The proclamation is designed to help Idahoans temporarily unable to work through no fault of their own because of quarantines, layoff or reduced work hours due to the coronavirus.

Any additional federal benefit payments, such as the $600 supplement in the CARES Act, will require additional guidance from USDOL and additional system programming, but it will be retroactive for eligible claimants as authorized by law.

The department will post information on the CARES Act programs and any changes to the existing programs on its website at

As a reminder, Idahoans applying for unemployment insurance benefits do not need to call the department. Instead, they can apply for benefits online and find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 at

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9 thoughts on “CARES Act Takes Time for States to Implement

  1. Kristi Ellis

    I think I filled out unemployment wrong my boss wants me to come back as soon as COVID-19 is I dont have an official return date but I will be returning. How can I change my thing to show that so I dont have to do the 2 work searches a week? Please email me! I dont know how to run through the phone system it’s to confusing for my specific question.

    1. Idaho Department of Labor Post author

      This FAQ may answer your question: I failed to indicate I would be returning with an employer within 16 weeks on my online application. Do I need to call the department?
      No. If the question was marked incorrectly, you will initially be coded as work seeking, but our claim specialists are correcting this for you as quickly as possible. Many customers answered this question incorrectly due to the unique circumstances we are in. If a claim specialist has already corrected your work search requirement, you will be asked if you maintained contact with your employer when you submit your weekly certification. If a claim specialist has not yet corrected your work search requirements, you will be asked to provide at least two work search contacts. Answer that you are unable to report two work search contacts for the week. A question will appear asking: “you indicated you did not seek work for this benefit week, is that correct?” Answer yes. You will be asked to select the reason you did not seek work. Click on Other. Indicate you will be returning to work with your employer as soon as COVID-19 restrictions subside. A claim specialist will review these weekly reports, waive the work search requirement and correct your work search status on your claim.

  2. Gardiner Young

    So, I had an existing claim that only has 3 weeks(now) left on it…what do I do when that runs out..mid April?….Do you expect the stimulus to be in by then…..or am I going to be broke and out of work? Thanks

    1. Idaho Department of Labor Post author

      We are waiting on guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor that we hope will answer your question. We will post updates to the FAQs as soon as we know.

  3. bill

    I applied first time in my life. I am self employed. Now status just says. “Monetarily Ineligible”. What does that mean? I tried emailing in but have gotten no reply.

    1. Idaho Department of Labor Post author

      Self-employment is part of the CARES Act. We are currently working with the federal government on implementation. We encourage you to continue submitting weekly reports.

  4. David Leavitt

    I have a previous claim where I’ve exhausted my benefits. I have continued to participate in the MAXIMUS program and am still unemployed. Is there any boundaries preventing my benefits being expanded due to the CARES Act?

    1. Idaho Department of Labor Post author

      We don’t have answers to specific claims questions, but this FAQ answers it generally:
      I have exhausted my UI benefits. Are additional benefits available?
      Yes. The CAREs Act expanded the unemployment insurance program to include Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). This program extends benefits for claimants who exhaust their regular benefits. We are working with the U.S. Department of Labor on further details so we can implement these changes. If you have exhausted benefits, please continue to submit your weekly certifications. You will be made aware of any changes that will potentially affect your unemployment benefit claim.

  5. Aubry Sitko

    For those that have filed a claim after the CAREs act was passed will we be back paid the $600 since it is taking awhile to implement?

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