This article was last updated on January 2
The the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program is administered by the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). DEED is responsible for processing unemployment compensation claims and paying out benefits. See below for details on the newly enhanced unemployment benefits available and how to file a claim.
2021 Unemployment Program Extensions Under COVID Relief Bill
The $900 billion COVID-19 relief package was passed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, which among several other pandemic relief measures extends and provides additional federal funding for enhanced unemployment benefits. This includes the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and a reinstatement, but halving of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) Program which provides a $300 supplemental weekly unemployment payment.
These programs have been funded and extended for 11 weeks (on top of any state funded extensions), covering the weeks of December 27th, 2020 to March 14th, 2021. While the bill was only signed on 12/27 and there have been some reports that the claimants may lose one week of benefits (since funding for all these programs ended on December 26th) the Department of Labor has confirmed an added $300 per week FPUC will be available starting the week ending 1/2/21, so eligible claimants will receive the full 11 weeks of payments (a total of $3,300). To receive FPUC benefits, you must be receiving regular UI, PEUC, EB, or PUA.
December 31, 2020 update: DEED expects to start paying the newly authorized PEUC and PUA benefits as soon as January 3, 2021. They are currently awaiting federal funding for the $300 supplemental payments.
Final guidelines on these programs and final eligibility including additional document verification procedures to combat Fraud have been issued by the Department of Labor and then have to be implemented by the state UI agency in their systems and programs. So this could delay the actual date of payments.
UI claimants with existing or expired claim balances should be aware of the following:
- PUA and PEUC, FPUC will be automatically added to the claimants’ benefits if they are eligible for the weeks outlined in the new legislation.
- Claimants with weeks remaining in UI should continue to file weekly claims
- Claimants who will have additional weeks in UI and PUA or PEUC due to state provisions (where applicable) should watch their state agency UI portal or website for updates that will allow additional weeks to be filed.
- Claimants will receive retroactive payments for all weeks they are eligible.
- Claimants currently receiving benefits through the Extended Benefits program must finish all weeks of EB before receiving additional weeks of PEUC.
I will post additional details as they are released in coming days. So stay tuned for updates.
PEUC Payment Dates
The first week of PEUC under the new law is the week beginning December 27, 2020. You will be able to request payment for this week on or after January 3, 2021. PEUC benefits will not be available retroactively for weeks prior to December 27, 2020. If you have not collected benefits in a while, you may need to reactivate your account before you can resume requesting PEUC benefits.
Keep requesting payment each week you are unemployed. The last payable week for PEUC will be for the week ending March 13, 2021. If you receive a PEUC payment for that week, and you have a remaining balance on your account, you may be eligible to participate in a phaseout period and collect PEUC through the week ending April 10, 2021.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) extension
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program provides weekly benefit payments for those who are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits in Minnesota or any other state. PUA was created by the CARES Act on March 27, 2020. Under the new stimulus law signed on December 27, 2020, PUA benefits can now last for 11 more weeks (up to a maximum of 50 weeks).
The first week of PUA benefits under the new law is the week beginning December 27, 2020. You will be able to request payment for this week on or after January 3, 2021. Keep requesting payment each week you are unemployed. The last payable week for PUA will be for the week ending March 13, 2021. If you receive a PUA payment for that week, and you have a remaining balance on your account, you may be eligible to participate in a phaseout period and collect PUA through the week ending April 10, 2021. See more information on the DEED page.