Enhanced 2020 Unemployment Insurance Benefit Payments and Extensions to Tackle Coronavirus Fallout – FPUC, PEUC and PUA

[Updated with the latest provisions] Under the recently enacted $2 trillion Coronavirus stimulus bill (CARES act) unemployment insurance coverage will be extended and supplemented as follows:

  • Under an existing provision known as the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) state-level unemployment insurance will be extended by an additional 13 weeks thanks to federal funding under the CARE stimulus bill. So state unemployment maximum benefits that normally last 26 weeks for example, would now last up-to 39 weeks. The extended benefits will last through Dec. 31, 2020 and also allow those who have exhausted their regular state benefits to get an additional 13 weeks of benefits.
  • Under Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) provisions an additional payment of $600 per week on top of the current and extended regular state UI benefits will be provided through to July 31, 2020.
  • Under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provision eligibility rules for claiming unemployment benefits and compensation have also been expanded to cover more workers, including contractors, freelance/“gig” workers and those who are self-employed.

The extra $600 FPUC funded boost in particular is nearly double the current UI maximum payment in many states (see state level maximums) so has created some controversy whereby some lower income workers may get more via unemployment than through their normal wages.

Do I need to reapply for unemployment benefits with new PUA extension in place? Workers who have exhausted their current benefits will likely need to re-apply for the additional and extended coverage UI benefits now in place via their state UI program website (see list here).

When will the $600 Unemployment Benefit Payment Start?

The $600 benefit payment is now being paid by all states and will generally be paid with your standard state unemployment benefit. You can see the table below for payment dates by states, including links to more information. Note that if you have already exhausted your current state UI benefits, you will still be eligible for this additional/extra temporary benefit boost as it is federally funded under the CARES stimulus bill.

Most state unemployment agencies and labor departments have implemented the enhanced unemployment provisions under guidance from the Federal Department of Labor (DOL). However antiquated state unemployment filing systems and websites have not been easy to update in such a short duration, meaning that claimants have faced long wait times and failures in being able to file a claim. If you already receive UI benefits you will automatically be added to the new stimulus programs if eligible and receive these payments as you currently do. Others or newly unemployed will need to (re-)apply for the UI payments.

Self-employed, independent contractors and nonprofit employees, or those that are otherwise ineligible for state UI benefits or those who have exhausted state and federal benefits may be eligible for enhanced benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Individuals who have the ability to telework and receive pay or individuals who are receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits will not qualify for the PUA benefits.

Will I get the full $600? The $600 is added to whatever amount you are currently getting, whether it’s the minimum or the maximum. So for example even if you are only getting $50 a week in unemployment benefits today you will still get the full $600 through the next four months which is mandated in the CARES bill. This means those only getting partial UIC benefits (at least $1) like part time workers earning below the maximum weekly benefit amount for their state will be eligible for this supplemental payment till July 31st 2020.

Also note that the $600 is paid retroactively. Payments are effective starting with the week ending 4/5/20. So, if it takes your state UI agency until mid-April to actually start the payments, they will be retroactive back to 4/5/20. The $600 only applies to those who are receiving unemployment benefits. If your state said that you don’t qualify for UI, then you do not get the $600 either. The bill also waived the 7 day waiting period for new claims. So you can file as soon as you get laid off or lose income as a self employed person.

State$600 Supplementary FPUC Payment StatusState Max. Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA)Max WBA with $600 FPUCPUA Amount
AlabamaActive from 4/11. Retroactive to 3/29.$275$875$275
AlaskaFrom 4/13 (retroactive to 3/29)$370$970$370
ArizonaActive week starting 4/13 (retroactive to 3/29)$240$840$240
ArkansasActive week starting 4/13 (retroactive to 3/29)
$451$1,051 $451
CaliforniaActive (from April 11)$450$1,050 $175
ColoradoActive from April 20th$618$1,218 $618
ConnecticutActive from 4/16 (retroactive to 4/4)$649$1,249 $649
DelawareFrom April 5th (first to roll out)$400$1,000 $400
District of ColumbiaFrom 4/27 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$444$1,044 $444
FloridaFrom 4/12 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$275$875$275
GeorgiaFrom 4/4 and paid 4/19$365$965$365
HawaiiPaid from 4/21 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$648$1,248 $648
IdahoFirst payment: 4/24/20. Available 4/28/20. Retroactive to 3/29$448$1,048 $448
IllinoisActive from 4/6 (retroactive to 3/29)$484$1,084$484
IndianaFrom 4/20 (retroactive to 3/29)$390$990$390
IowaFrom 4/16$481$1,081 $481
KansasFrom 4/23 (retroactive to March 29th)$488$1,088 $488
KentuckyFrom 4/4$552$1,152 $552
LouisianaFrom 4/20 (retroactive to March 29th)$247$847$247
MaineFrom 4/16 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$445$1,045 $445
MarylandFrom 4/17 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$430$1,030 $430
MassachusettsPaid from 4/10 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$823$1,423 $823
MichiganActive from 4/10 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$362$962$362
MinnesotaFrom 4/5$462$1,062 $462
MississippiPaid from 4/10 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$235$835$235
MissouriActive 4/12 (retroactive to 3/29)$320$920$320
MontanaFrom 4/13 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$552$1,152 $552
NebraskaFrom 4/17 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$440$1,040 $440
NevadaActive from 4/12 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$469$1,069 $469
New HampshireFrom 4/20 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$427$1,027 $427
New JerseyActive 4/14 (for the week of March 30th)$713$1,313 $713
New MexicoFrom 4/13 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$511$1,111 $511
New YorkActive (payments begin 4/5)$504$1,104 $504
North CarolinaFirst Payments by April 17$350$950$350
North DakotaWeek of April 14$618$1,218 $618
OhioActive from 4/23 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$480$1,080 $480
OklahomaFrom 4/20 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$539$1,139 $539
OregonFrom 4/10 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$648$1,248 $648
PennsylvaniaActive from 4/12$572$1,172 $572
Puerto RicoNo info$190$790$190
Rhode IslandActive from 4/14$586$1,186 $586
South CarolinaFrom 4/18$326$926$326
South DakotaFrom 4/10 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$414$1,014 $414
TennesseeFrom 4/14$275$875$275
TexasActive from 4/13 and being paid per comments$521$1,121 $521
UtahActive from 4/9 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$580$1,180 $580
VermontFrom 4/5 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$513$1,113 $513
VirginiaActive from 4/12 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$378$978$378
WashingtonFrom 4/18 (retroactive to 3/29)$790$1,390 $790
West VirginiaFrom 4/20 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$424$1,024 $424
WisconsinFrom 4/26 (Retroactive to 4/4)$370$970$370
WyomingFrom 4/27 (retroactive to w/ending 4/4)$508$1,108 $508

[April 2020 update] With over 2.25 unemployment claims filed in the last week along, America is facing not only a health crisis, but a Jobs one as well.

The recently passed Families First Cronavirus Response Act has resulted in several economic stimulus measures, once of which is Enhanced unemployment benefits. The bill provides $1 billion in 2020 for emergency grants to states for activities related to processing and paying unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

$500 million of the additional funding would be used to provide immediate additional funding to all states for staffing, technology, systems, and other administrative costs, so long as they met basic requirements about ensuring access to earned benefits for eligible workers.

How unemployment insurance works and how to qualify

It mainly depends on where you live because states administer the Unemployment insurance program. But often get help, per the bill discussed above, from the federal government to bolster the state’s UI program and availability of benefits.

Eligibility and benefits are generally calculated as a percentage of your income over the past year, up to a certain maximum. The benefits or UI payment is between 14 and 26 weeks, but can be extended by supporting federal funds.

States would be required to report on the share of eligible individuals who received UI benefits and the state’s efforts to ensure access within one year of receiving the funding. The funding would be distributed in the same proportions as regular UI administrative funding provided through annual appropriations.

The remaining $500 million would be reserved for emergency grants to states which experienced at least a 10 percent increase in unemployment. Those states would be eligible to receive an additional grant, in the same amount as the initial grant, to assist with costs related to the unemployment spike, and would also be required to take steps to temporarily ease eligibility requirements that might be limiting access to UI during the COVID-19 outbreak, like work search requirements, required waiting periods, and requirements to increase employer UI taxes if they have high layoff rates.

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235 thoughts on “Enhanced 2020 Unemployment Insurance Benefit Payments and Extensions to Tackle Coronavirus Fallout – FPUC, PEUC and PUA

  1. Dont forget to fill out your weekly vouchers so you can get your check if you dont fill out your vouchers by sunday of every week you wont get paid!!

  2. I live in Memphis Tennessee my unemployment has exhausted how do I apply for extensions

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