While most states have now updated their unemployment filing systems to accept new claims or reactivate existing claims to support the pandemic unemployment assistance programs rolled out under the CARES act there are still many, many issues with making these payments. One common issue I am seeing across several of my articles on this topic and from the many comments below is where eligible claimants received their first $600 FPUC UIC payment but then don’t see a second or third payment in subsequent weeks whether they’re paid on a weekly or fortnightly payment basis. Comments I have received from people in New York, Florida and California confirm this. I have posted possible reasons (and solutions) for this based on what is being published on certain state unemployment and government websites
I’m in NYC ….I received $600 last Friday April 24 as first payment …..is $600 weekly pay or biweekly because I didn’t receive nothing this week. (Khal)
I’m also in NYC and received my initial $600 PUA payment on 4/24. I’ve not received a payment yet for this week. Been trying to contact someone to get an answer but without success. It’s a bit frustrating. (Paul)
I live in New Jersey and i am on unemployment since april 2. That is when I received my first check. However I never received My PUA. But 2 times out of 5. I am getting upset now. New month new bills !!!!! (Julie)
I am living in PA and I am receiving UC because I was laid off. I began receiving UC the last week of March. In addition to my biweekly UC deposit, I have gotten one $600 payment which I received April 14. I still have not received the $600 payment for any of the other weeks in April that I was unemployed. I can not find any information after googling it and I do not know who to contact if I could even get through. Does anyone have any information that could help me? (Dani)FPUC roll-out by state
So why could the above scenarios be happening?
Remember the $600 p/week FPUC payment is for individuals receiving regular unemployment benefits, PUA, PEUC, or extended benefits. So while you may qualify for the FPUC in a given week, but if your job or eligibility changes you won’t get the $600 for the following weeks. That is why you must certify every week to ensure you get your regular UI payment, along with the additional $600 payment till July 31st 2020.
Slow Processing. A common and likely reason is simply that state UI agencies/departments are under so much pressure with the flood of new claims, while tying to update their systems to handle the new provisions, that they cannot process the FPUC payments first enough. This is especially the case for newly eligible freelance and gig economy workers. As the Ohio Dept of Job and Family services said, “Currently, we are at least one week behind schedule in payment distribution. Each claim is important to us, and we understand the urgency of providing you with the resources you need to support your family. “
Unemployment system glitches. Because the roll-out of these programs was so swift, there wasn’t sufficient testing done by many state UI agencies. Hence the ongoing glitches where payments were made for the first week – which should have included retroactive payments – but not made for subsequent weeks. A few comments on related posts also had some readers surprised at receiving a payment when they thought they were not eligible. Sounds like another glitch.
PUA exceptions. Kimberly from Buffalo, NY said she got a mystery $600 on April 24th from unemployment without getting any of her other benefits, but didn’t get that $600 again in subsequent weeks. When she called her local news station to help chase this up after getting no response from the NYC Department of Labor. They finally responded and said the initial payment was for a limited group of people who applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) stuck in the PUA application process before the state streamlined going forward. People like Kim should be receiving regular UI and the $600 payments going forward.
What to do now?
For those who have gone more than two weeks since receiving their original FPUC payment, the first step is to confirm your job/eligibility situation has not changed (i.e. continue certifying) and to contact your local state unemployment agency (see links by state here). But it is hard to get through to someone so you will need A LOT of patience.
Ultimately, state agencies should catch up on payments and you will be made whole, but that won’t help those already behind on bills and need the money just to make ends meet. I’ll post some more solutions as I find them, but please share your story below and hopefully the community of readers on this site can answer your question or make you realize your are not alone.
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