FAQs for Unemployment Claimants about the End of the CARES Act Programs

Question: I hear Congress approved extending unemployment benefits and other stimulus programs.

Answer: Congress has passed legislation to extend the CARES Act programs that affect unemployment benefits. Now that it has been signed by President Trump, states will be informed about how to implement the program. Until then, we have no additional details and cannot answer your phone calls regarding the extension. We will post any updates on our FAQs and website as they become available. Please continue to submit your weekly reports.

Q: I hear that the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is ending.

A: You are correct, unemployment insurance programs and extensions funded by the federal CARES Act expired Dec. 26, 2020, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).

Q: How do I know if I am receiving unemployment insurance funded by the Federal CARES Act?

A: PEUC, or extended benefits program, adds 13 weeks to exhausted unemployment benefits. If you applied for extended benefits on the Claimant Portal, you’ll see confirmation that your extended benefits application was approved on the Claimant Portal home page under Extended Benefits.

PUA is for self-employed, low wage earners or workers with denied issues who were unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals who are primarily self-employed uploaded tax information to the Claimant Portal to determine monetary eligibility.

Q: Is there another unemployment insurance program available for those who do not qualify for regular unemployment or have exhausted benefits?

A: Not at this time. CARES Act programs are controlled by Congress not the Idaho Department of Labor. If Congress extends the unemployment benefit programs or authorizes new unemployment programs, we will update our website and our FAQs.

Q: Should I continue to submit my weekly certifications?

A: You may continue to submit your weekly certifications after the week ending Dec. 26, 2020. Although there are no additional benefit programs authorized at this time, submitting weekly certifications would allow faster payment should Congress extend federal benefits after Dec. 26, 2020.

Q: What if I applied for pandemic unemployment insurance but I am waiting to be approved?

A: If your claim is not approved until after Dec. 26, you will still receive back weeks for which you are qualified. You should continue filing weekly certifications.

Q: When will the last week of pandemic unemployment benefits pay out?

A: Benefits expire on Saturday Dec. 26, 2020. You may submit your weekly report on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020 for the week of Dec. 20, 2020 through Dec. 26, 2020. If you submit your weekly report on Sunday and do not have issues preventing payment, payment will be available Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. You have until Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021 at midnight to report this week. This is the last payable week of benefits.

Q: Should I contact the department to ask if other extended benefits are available?

A: No. If Congress extends the unemployment benefit programs or authorizes new unemployment programs, we will update our website and our FAQs.

Q: Can you help me find work?

A: Yes. We are here to assist with your work search. Schedule an in-person or phone appointment with a workforce consultant by completing this form. We can assist with:

  • Résumés that highlight your skills and work experience;
  • Training resources to help upgrade your skills;
  • Job interview tips including how to present yourself as a strong, confident candidate;
  • Answering difficult questions about your work history;
  • Overcoming barriers you think may be preventing you from getting hired; and
  • Using social media to network.

All of these services and more – such as virtual job fairs and online workshops – are available to the public at no cost.

Q: Where can I go for other assistance during this time of uncertainty?

A: Our resource page lists agencies offering help with food, shelter, medical, dental and mental health care, child care and more.