This article was last updated on January 9
[Update with State Payout Information] Congressional leaders and eventually President Trump have now signed into law the $900 billion second 2020 stimulus package, part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, that includes funding for extending federal pandemic programs (PUA, PEUC) and providing supplementary unemployment benefits at $300 per week for millions of unemployed or underemployed Americans. The supplementary $300 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) will cover 11 weeks of payments for a maximum of $3,300. Other enhanced unemployment programs like PUA and PEUC have also got additional funding that extends them to 50 weeks (vs current 39 weeks + state extensions).
Per the legislation and Department of Labor (DOL) guidelines, the funding extension will only cover the period after December 27th 2020 (or week ending January 2nd, 2021) and run for 11 weeks, until March 14, 2021. It won’t be paid after this date. Like the original $600 FPUC program (in effect till July 31st 2020) the new $300 FPUC payment only has a $1 minimum threshold, which is different to the $100 for the LWA program. See more in this recent $300 FPUC video summary or State Payment Tracker.
FAQs with the $300 Unemployment Payment
- Will the unemployment payments be retroactive? Yes, to the start of the extension coverage period. The new $300 FPUC payments and program extensions will be effective from the week ending January 2nd, 2021 for 11 weeks. The FPUC program expires on March 14, 2021. There is no phaseout period until April 10th, 2021 for FPUC (unlike PUA or PEUC) for additional payments to be made after the expiry date. The Biden administration would have to pass additional funding to cover any additional payments after the March 14th, 2021 expiry date. Given that state UI agencies will likely take a few weeks to roll this payment out, payments to the beginning of the program (week ending January 2nd, 2021) will be retroactive. See more on how retroactive UI payments would work under the new funding for these programs.
- Do I need to earn a minimum (e.g $100) to get the new $300 unemployment stimulus? The requirement to get the $300 FPUC in 2021 is the same as the original $600 FPUC, which ended back in July 2020. Which is that your job loss was due to COVID and you were eligible for at least $1 of unemployment in your state (including under PUA or PEUC) The $300 LWA program had a different minimum of $100 UI but that was a different program using FEMA funding with different rules. As long as you qualify for $1 of unemployment between Dec 26th and March 14th, you will get the $300 FPUC payment.
- Will my existing claim balance rollover or will new weeks of eligibility be added if I have exhausted my balance? The PEUC and PUA programs have been extended by 11 more weeks (from the 39 week base, which some states had extended further). So if you have remaining weeks there is now funding for those through March 14th, 2021. So your balance should rollover and you will also get the supplementary $300 payment during the extension period. If you have exhausted your current 39 week balance, you will get an extra 11 weeks under the unemployment extension. But this would only be starting from December 27th, 2020. After March 14, 2021, new claimants will no longer be permitted to apply for PUA benefits, but eligible individuals who were receiving PUA benefits as of that date will continue to receive benefits until week beginning April 5, 2021 until their claim balance is exhausted. Weekly certification will be required.
- Do I need to take any action to be paid the $300 FPUC? Per DOL guidelines you won’t have to to take any additional action to receive this supplemental payment from your state UI agency. Just continue to file your claim each week for the unemployment benefit you are currently receiving and the supplementary payment will be added to that (including retroactive back payments) once your state agency updates their systems to make this payment. While many states have confirmed they are paying the $300, the challenge for may who have exhausted their benefits prior to December 27th is that unless they can re-apply and confirm qualification for the PUA or PEUC program extensions they cannot get this payment either. See this article for a discussion on this issue.
- How will the $300 extra unemployment be paid? Like the $300 LWA and $600 FPUC, states will pay this out so dependent on their processing times. As we have seen, some states are much more efficient than others at paying out. But any payments will be retroactive to the start of the program. The good news is that because the criteria is like the original FPUC program (just half the weekly amount), state UI agencies should have their systems ready to make this payment asap.
- Were PUA and PEUC extended? Both PUA and PEUC programs were also extended (see details here) for 11 weeks covering people till April 10th, 2021 (includes phaseout period). Additional weeks will cover people who have exhausted their current weeks or balance. Any additional weeks will still need to be approved and job loss needs to be due to COVID. See this article on what actions you may have to take to get these UI extensions.
I will continue to update the above as additional details are provided by state unemployment agencies and the table below is a state-by-state tracker of the $300 FPUC payment by various states.
$300 FPUC Weekly Unemployment Stimulus Payment Status
Table Notes: $300 FPUC Weekly Unemployment Stimulus Payment Status by State Tracker. A Maximum of 11 weeks (Dec 27th, 2020 to March 14th, 2021) can be paid under this program and you must be getting $1 from existing program during coverage period. State labor and unemployment departments are slowly rolling out extended UI changes in batches by claimant groups. One of the last groups are those who have exhausted their benefits before Dec 27th and will need to wait till PUA and PEUC changes are implemented before getting the $300 FPUC (see why in this article). Where available I have broken up payment start dates by group. If you cannot see the table clearly, click here and scroll down.
(Click state link for details)
Payment Status, Dates and Roll-out Schedule
|Alaska||No update as of Jan 11th. Still waiting to implement DOL guidelines for UI extension|
|Arizona||Starting the Week of January 3rd|
|Arkansas||No update as of Jan 11th. Still waiting to implement DOL guidelines for UI extension (source: AK DWS)|
|California||Jan 3rd (for active claimants with with regular UI or FED-ED extension ) and Jan 10th (for those also getting extended PUA, PEUC)|
|Colorado||CDLE still updating systems to process $300 and PUA/PEUC extensions. (estimated end of January)|
|Connecticut||Claimants will begin receiving payment upon filing their claims beginning on Jan 3, 2021. (source: CDOL)|
|Delaware||January 4th, 2021|
|District of Columbia||DES is still updating systems to process $300 and PUA/PEUC extensions (estimated end of January)|
|Florida||January 12, paying out claims. DEO also says it’s still working on implementing the continuation of PEUC and PUA for claimants who had exhausted benefits (may see delays in $300 payment for this group)|
|Georgia||January 2nd (for active claimants getting regular UI). Those on State Extended Benefits (SEB) and PEUC claims will get $300FPUC released after 01/12/21. PUA and PEUC claimants have exhausted benefits should not file a new claim, but should continue to request weekly payments via UI portal. Once GDOL updates systems they will make back payments for eligible weeks.|
|Hawaii||Jan 11th, Paying active PUA claimants that have certified eligible claims for the week ending Jan 2nd, 2021. Eligible claimants that can certify claims on Sunday, Jan 9 for the week ending Jan 8th will also have their claims processed, including $300 FPUC. (HDOL)|
|Idaho||Starting the week ending Jan 2, 2021|
|Illinois||Confirmed January 7th. Paying from the week ending Jan 2, 2021 for all programs|
|Indiana||DWD began paying the additional $300 available through CAUWA on regular UI claims on Jan. 8, 2021 (still to pay those who have need to reapply for extended coverage period)|
|Iowa||January 15th (Estimated)|
|Kansas||No payments as of Jan 12th, official update is they are still updating systems based on DOL guidance|
|Kentucky||No payments as of Jan 12th, official statement is “We are going to have to, with the new CARES Act, go in and reprogram because they (the federal government) changed, once again, who qualifies for this extra $300."|
|Louisiana||January 4th (active claimants)|
|Maine||Week Jan 2nd (active claims): Week of Jan 10th ( Claimants who had exhausted their PUA benefits including or prior to Dec. 26); Jan 17th (Claimants who had exhausted their original PEUC benefits including or prior to Dec. 26) (source: Maine DOL)|
|Massachusetts||January 6th. The additional $300 was added to weekly benefit payments for the week ending Jan 2nd. PUA claimants will receive their FPUC payments beginning Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 (retro to Jan 2nd)|
|Michigan||From January 12th (for those getting regular/EB unemployment). From Jan 17th for PUA and PEUC claimants with active and remaining claim balances as of Dec 27th, 2020 Those PUA and PEUC claimants who had exhausted benefits prior to Dec 26th have to wait till programs/systems are update to file/reopen claims. No action and need to wait for updates from Michigan UIA.|
|Minnesota||Starting the Week of January 3rd|
|Mississippi||Starting the Week of January 3rd|
|Missouri||January 18th for regular UI/EB recipients only. PUA and PEUC recipients are still waiting. Keep certifying if have an active claim balance. (Source : MO Division of Employment Security (DES))|
|Montana||January 5th - added to recipient’s state weekly benefit amount (source: Montana DOL)|
|Nebraska||January 8th, 2021|
|Nevada||January 6th (active claimants). Those who exhausted benefits will have to wait until system updates are done to reopen PUA/PEUC claims (expected end of Jan)|
|New Hampshire||January 5th (Source : NHES)|
|New Jersey||NJ DOL experiencing delays and challenges in implementing $300 payment. Those currently collecting UI, PUA & PEUC will see $300 FPUC hit accounts from Jan 19th (estimated) and towards late Jan/early Feb for those who exhausted benefits prior to December 27th and need to reopen/refile for extended coverage. (See details in this video)|
|New Mexico||January 18th (estimated)|
|New York||Starting the Week of January 3rd|
|North Carolina||January 6th (active claimants)|
|North Dakota||Still making update to systems for PUA and PEUC recipients. ND Job Service expects to roll this out by the end of Jan 2020 (including retroactive payments)|
|Ohio||ODJFS is issuing FPUC payments as of 01/16/201 for those with active PUA, PEUC and Regular UI claims and who can certify. Those who had exhausted PUA or PEUC benefits won't receive the $300 until they can file claims following system updates that will only happen in February. All claimants will eventually receive all benefits they are eligible for.|
|Oklahoma||Jan 7th for active claimants and PUA/PEUC claimants who had NOT exhausted benefits as of Dec 27th. OK OESC estimates that starting on January 25th will starting pay out the $300 federal compensation to all remaining claimants. (source: OESC)|
|Oregon||January 7th, 2021 (active claimants)|
|Pennsylvania||Starting from Tues., January, 12 (for regular UC and EB recipients). PUA and PEUC programs are being updated to allow the extended payments to be applied for existing and newly eligible claimants. Do not file a new claim and await for instructions from PA L&I DOL|
|Rhode Island||Starting the Week of January 3rd|
|South Carolina||January 9th|
|South Dakota||January 13th|
|Tennessee||Starting the Week of January 3rd|
|Texas||January 7th (regular UI). Texas TWC still updating systems for individuals unable to request payment due to having exhausted their (PUA, PEUC, EB) claims prior to Dec 26th, TWC will send them updated information once system updates have been made - no action needed now.|
|Utah||Jan 7th - Paying to Regular UI and PUA claimants. PEUC claimants to start later in January (source: Utah DWS)|
|Vermont||January 11th; New PUA claimants must complete an initial application for benefits before filing a weekly claim. Individuals in regular UI have already been able to file for the PEUC extension, which went live on January 3rd. Existing PUA and PEUC can file weekly claims to receive the $300 payment. (Source : Vermont DOL)|
|Virginia||01/08/2021 for UI and PEUC. The target date for implementation is 01/14/2021 for PUA with active claims/balances. PUA and PEUC claimants who exhausted benefits before 12/27 will only be able to reopen/reactivate claims after 1/29/2021, due to to delays in system updates by VEC.|
|Washington||Will issue payment for the first two weeks on Jan. 15, 2021 (source: ESD WA)|
|West Virginia||Starting the Week of January 3rd for all eligible recipients. You will need to reopen claim if had a gap in your filing and exhausted benefits before 12/26/20 and your initial claim year has not ended. (see WV instructions)|
|Wisconsin||No clear date defined other than DWD saying - "We anticipate starting payments within a few weeks."|
[Earlier update] Assuming 16 weeks is the correct duration for the supplementary unemployment benefits and that the proposed plan would provide extra payments until the end of of March 2021, one can infer that the benefit payments would be retroactive to the beginning of December 2020. This is around three months after the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program ended (week of September 5th in most states). Though some states like Nevada are still pending payments!
The agreement in the proposed stimulus/COVID relief plan would also include an extension of the PUA and PEUC programs that covers for gig workers and independent contractors, and those eligible for unemployment benefits respectively.
Congressional aides have cautioned negotiations have been in flux a final agreement has NOT been reached. But House leaders have been tasked with crafting a bill around the proposed relief plan and further details should come out in the next few days once final agreements are reached. I’ll post updates accordingly.