Most states have now updated their unemployment systems to account for the extra $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payment to those eligible for regular unemployment insurance (UI). While the roll-out and payment of these benefits has been plagued by challenges with some states struggling a lot more than others, millions of Americans have started receiving their extra/stimulus unemployment benefits. As a reminder, the additional $600 weekly should occur automatically (unless specified by state unemployment site) for anybody eligible for any amount of state unemployment benefits — even as little as $1. The payments, including retroactive or backdated payments for eligible weeks, will continue through July 31.
The good news is that even though payments have started later the planned, they will be retroactive to when states signed up to receive the federal boost for their unemployment programs. This is generally for the week ending 4/3 in most states. So if you were eligible to receive unemployment compensation from that week then you would be eligible to receive payments from that date. The table below shows when states started making the $600 FPUC payment and when the payments were retroactive to.
Unfortunately many readers have noted issues with these retroactive payments whereby they have not received them at all, even though they had gotten their first $600 payment per state schedules. So while many were expecting a large first payment worth thousands, they ended up getting just their base $600 payment. And when they contact their local state unemployment agencies they cannot get a clear answer and are told just to wait while they clear back logs of new claimants.
Backdated Payments with PUA claims
Several readers have asked if the $600 payment will be back dated for those who become eligible for state unemployment benefits under the PUA program. While this is subject to the different timelines of the PUA and FPUC programs, generally speaking if you qualified for the PUA program between early April and the end of July, you would be eligible for FPUC benefits per the dates shown below. This includes backdated payments for weeks you were eligible. In most states backdated PUA and FPUC payments will be paid in one lump-sum one to two weeks after you are deemed eligible for benefits.
States like Florida, North Dakota and Ohio have confirmed they are still well behind making these retroactive payments due to IT system issues around certifying eligibility for past weeks and taking initial claims for new worker groups (e.g freelancers) eligible for unemployment and the extra $600 under PUA provisions.
Note however that while the program end date is July 31st, retroactive payments for the $600 FPUC may be made after that date subject to program funding. There is also a chance the entire program could be extended if unemployment rates don’t improve.
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