FAQs for Unemployment Claimants about the CARES Act Extension

Are the unemployment insurance benefits that are funded through the CARES Act extended?

Yes. On Dec. 27, 2020, Pres. Donald Trump signed a stimulus bill that renews unemployment benefit programs through the CARES Act, that was originally set to expire Dec. 26, 2020.

Will I experience a gap in benefits?

If you were receiving benefits through the CARES Act, and they exhausted, your payments may be delayed. We are working as quickly as possible to implement the extension provisions. Please continue to submit your weekly certifications. You will be paid for all eligible week(s) claimed when the program is fully implemented.

I am currently on an extension. Am I eligible for additional weeks?

Yes. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), is commonly referred to as extended benefits. The bill added 11 weeks, extending the maximum number of benefit weeks from 13 to 24.

I am currently self-employed and I am receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Are my benefits extended?

Yes. PUA is a program for low wage earners and self-employed individuals. The bill extended the program an additional 11 weeks, to a maximum of 50 weeks.

I exhausted my PUA benefits before Dec. 26, 2020. Can I be paid weeks retroactively?

No. The additional PUA benefits are effective Dec. 27, 2020.  There are no provisions to pay exhausted benefits retroactively.

I was receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and my employment situation has not changed. Why was I recently denied benefits?

We recently received clarification from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) on PUA eligibility requirements that could have impacted your eligibility. To be eligible for PUA, the claimant must meet one of the PUA conditions  regarding their COVID-19 circumstances listed during the benefit week. If the claimant does not meet at least one of the conditions, they will be denied benefits and receive a PUA self-certification denial letter. USDOL’s clarification has increased eligibility requirements and some claimants who have experienced a reduction in work hours are no longer eligible.

I was receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) of $168 per week. Why was my weekly benefit amount reduced effective Sunday, Feb 14?

The continued CARES Act added an additional 11 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) to your claim. The department is required to pay PEUC funds before paying any PUA funds. PEUC is an extension of regular benefits and pays a minimum of $72 per week. This replaces the minimum weekly benefit amount of $168 you were receiving from PUA.

Will I receive an additional $300 per week?

Yes. The bill reinstated a supplemental payment that ended July 25. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) will add an additional $300 to a weekly benefit payment for up to 11 weeks.

How do I apply for the additional $300 per week?

No additional action is required on your part. If you submit your weekly certification report and are eligible for a full or partial unemployment payment, you will receive the additional $300.

I exhausted my PEUC benefits before Dec. 26, 2020. Can I be paid weeks retroactively?

No. The additional PEUC benefits are effective Dec. 27, 2020.  There are no provisions to pay exhausted benefits retroactively.

When do the benefits listed end?

The programs are set to end on March 13, 2021, but in some cases claimants will be able to claim through April 10, 2021.