Unemployment Benefits Resources, Federal Enhanced Programs (PUA, PEUC, LWA) and Latest Updates

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On this page you will find several articles on the latest unemployment programs and links to state specific pages for unemployment resources. 2020 has seen several new federally funded unemployment programs put in place to support the record levels of unemployment as a result of the Coronavirus/COVID induced economic slowdown. Not surprisingly the roll-out and implementation of these new programs has been fraught with challenges and varies on a state-by-state basis. Hopefully the information here will help you find the information or answers you were looking for.

Latest News – The $600 FPUC program has expired as of the end of July and Congress is still debating an extension that both political parties can agree to. In the interim President Trump has signed executive orders to enact the temporary payment of $300 to $400 of extra weekly benefits under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program until Congress passes a more permanent and funded enhanced benefits program. The PUA and PEUC programs are both in effect to year end, in addition to extended state benefits in several states

Enhanced Federally Funding Unemployment Programs in 2020

Three main programs were federally funded under the CARES stimulus act:

  • The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provision expands eligibility rules for claiming unemployment benefits and compensation to cover more workers, including contractors, freelance/“gig” workers and those who are self-employed. To qualify for PUA benefits, jobless Americans must not be eligible for regular unemployment benefits and be unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because of certain health or economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) extended state-level unemployment insurance 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.
  • [NOW EXPIRED] Under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program 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. This program is under review for a further extension, but the total weekly amount will like likely be cut to $400 under Trump proposals.
  • The $600 FPUC program will likely be replaced by the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program which will provide $300 to $400 of additional weekly benefits to recipients getting at least $100 of current unemployment benefits (including the above programs). This program will be in effect from August 1st to December 27th, subject to funding. States have now started making payments under this program including providing back payments where applicable. See the latest state roll-out list and payment dates.
  • While not a federal program, many states have triggered extended benefit (EB) programs due to high unemployment rate thresholds triggered in their states. This generally provides 7 additional weeks, on top of the 13 weeks available under the PEUC, for a total of 20 weeks.

Also given the volume of questions and as every state has varying unemployment rules, I have started creating specific state unemployment pages to provide information on filing or checking the status of unemployment benefits –

Florida (FL)California (CA)Texas (TX)
New Jersey (NJ)Massachusetts (MA)New York (NY)
Arizona (AZ)Pennsylvania (PA)Colorado (CO)
Ohio (OH)Georgia (GA)Illinois (IL)
Wisconsin (WI)Michigan (MI)North Carolina (NC)
Virginia (VA)Maryland (MD)
State Unemployment Resource and News Pages

The list above will grow as I add more state-by-state resources so please subscribe via email to get the latest updates.

Unemployment Benefit Resources

Below are some of the more useful articles related to unemployment benefits and enhanced programs enacted under the CARES act. These look to answer some common questions and clear up items around the PUA, PEUC and FPUC federally funded (but state administered) unemployment programs. You can also see they have several hundred comments, which have people sharing their experiences and resolutions to unemployment related issues. You will likely find people in a similar boat.

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