FAQs for Claimants
COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits
Lawmakers agreed to a significant expansion of the unemployment insurance program with the CARES Act. Additional compensation, extensions, and assistance for self-employed individuals are all coming. We are working with our partners at U.S. Department of Labor for further details so we can implement the changes. We are working as quickly as possible to provide support for Idahoans. Please be assured you will be made aware of any changes that will potentially impact your unemployment benefit claim.
See these unemployment insurance FAQs for how to file and navigate the system.
COVID-19 Related Questions
General Unemployment Insurance
Updated or new FAQs are noted with the date.
UPDATED March 31: Are independent contractors or self-employed workers covered?
Yes. The CAREs Act expanded the unemployment insurance program to include Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This program allows payment for individuals who are not eligible for regular benefits, particularly self-employed individuals. We are working with the U.S. Department of Labor on further details so we can implement these changes, which could take several weeks. Please apply for benefits online at labor.idaho.gov/claimantportal and continue to submit your weekly certifications. Enter your work history on the online application as self-employment. We will inform you of any changes that will potentially affect your unemployment benefit claim.
UPDATED April 6: I heard I am going to get $600 more per week? When does this start?
The CAREs Act includes Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which adds an additional $600 to each claimant’s weekly payment. This is effective for weeks claimed with the week ending April 4, 2020, but we need additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor as well as to make programming changes which could take several weeks. If you are eligible, you will receive your regular weekly benefit amount now, and then you will receive the $600 retroactively when we get it programmed.
NEW March 30: I have exhausted my UI benefits. Are additional benefits available?
Yes. The CAREs Act expanded the unemployment insurance programto 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.
NEW April 6: Do I have to report other income, for example, if my employer gave me part of their stimulus package?
Yes. This is reportable income categorized as ‘other income,’ and reportable in the week that you receive it.