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 labor.idaho.gov.
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 labor.idaho.gov.
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