Which States Have Not Begun Paying Out The New Federal Unemployments Benefits
Colorados Department of Labor and Employment is rolling out the benefits in phases, and is expected to start late this coming week with the $300 weekly bonus going to all those on unemployment. It will also allow non-traditional workers who have not yet exhausted their federal pandemic relief to reopen their claim.
Ohio said it is still processing payments for the additional 11 weeks of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation due to eligible residents, noting this week, We are working as quickly as possible to implement FPUC for the additional 11 weeks of PUA and PEUC. All claimants will receive all benefits for which they are eligible.
Biden Arpa Unemployment Benefit Extensions
Congressional leaders and the President have now passed another COVID relief stimulus package into law. The package includes funding for extending the $300 FPUC weekly boost, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs to September 6th, 2021 or the earlier end date some states have chosen to end participation in these federally funded programs.
Eligible claimants who certify under existing programs like regular state UI, PUA, PEUC or EB for the applicable weeks will automatically get the extra $300 FPUC unemployment Claimants who had exhausted their PUA or PEUC benefits and needed to wait for their state unemployment departments to update UI programs will be retroactively caught up for back payments in subsequent weeks however their may be some manual intervention required in certain cases as discussed below.
Who Is Eligible For Extended Unemployment Benefits
What benefits are unemployed workers eligible for? Ordinarily, workers in most states are eligible for 26 weeks of unemployment benefits, although some states provide less coverage. Montana is the only state that provides more with 28 weeks of unemployment benefits.
In times of high unemployment, the federal government provides funds to the states to extend unemployment insurance programs for additional weeks of benefits beyond what each state offers.
Check with your state unemployment office for information on the availability of extended benefits in your location. You can find a directory of offices on the Department of Labors CareerOneStop Unemployment Benefits Finder.
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Lost Wages Assistance Program Now Expired
The temporary $300 unemployment benefit under the Lost Wages Assistance program funding has now been paid in all states who participated in the program. The program expiry date was December 27th, 2020 and this means that any new or retroactive payments under this program will NO longer be paid out going forward. This has been replaced by the new $300 FPUC payment discussed above.
This supplementary payment was a temporary, but much needed benefit for unemployed or underemployed workers who lost the supplementary $600 FPUC weekly payment at the end of July. There was a lot of confusion on when the $300 would actually be paid by state UI agencies which led to the creation of the LWA state tracker table below, which shows the payment status and actual or estimated future date claimants can expect their first weekly unemployment payment, if eligible. You can also see the 1000+ comments from readers that share their experiences around the LWA payment, including some very useful tips if you are facing issues getting your $300 LWA payment.
Who Is Eligible For The Extra Benefits
Anyone receiving unemployment benefits of at least $100 will receive additional federal aid.
According to the Lost Wages Grant, states must also agree to pay the first $100 per week that each person receives in unemployment benefits.
This means that if you do not currently qualify for at least $100 per week under your state’s benefits policy, you will not be eligible to receive the extra $300 from the federal government.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation is a supplemental benefit that is paid on top of an individuals weekly benefit amount for state unemployment insurance benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Extended Benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law by the President on March 11, 2021, extends the FPUC program through September 2021.
FPUC provides a $300 per week benefit from Dec. 27, 2020 Sept. 4, 2021.
FPUC provided a $600 per week benefit from March 29 July 25, 2020.
Note: If you do not receive at least $1 in benefits for a week because you earned excessive wages, you will not be eligible to receive FPUC for that week.
When Will The $300 Extra Weekly Unemployment Start Being Paid In My State News And Updates On Payment With Pua And Peuc Claims
The latest stimulus package was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President Biden on March 11th, 2021. It includes further extensions to pandemic unemployment programs and an extra $300 weekly FPUC supplementary UI payment. The latest supplementary $300 payment will be paid over 25 weeks starting from week of March 15th, 2021 to September 6th, 2021. This is in addition to the previous extension covering 11 weeks from December 27th, 2020 to March 14th, 2021. Eligible payments will be made retroactively in cases where state unemployment agencies face delays with rolling out system updates to process these payments.
The $300 weekly unemployment payment will be made above and beyond any regular state or enhanced federal unemployment payment and require eligible claimants to certify regularly according to their state UI agency guidelines. Claimants will need to be eligible for at least $1 of an underlying unemployment benefit to receive the $300 supplemental payment under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.
You do not need to take any additional action to receive this supplemental payment. States are slowly rolling out these payments for different groups of claimants starting with those already getting regular UI and state extended benefits . Those who have exhausted benefits prior to the extensions being rolled out or new claimants will only be able to get payments once their underlying claim is approved.
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How To Get Extra $300 Unemployment Payments
For the most part, it looks like recipients do not need to do anything special to get their extra $300 in unemployment benefits. For example, Minnesota states explicitly: “Applicants do not have to do anything extra to receive LWA payments.”
However, some states are a little vague on the particulars. Below, in our state-by-state guide, we’ve marked as “unclear” the states that have not clearly said on their unemployment website if a recipient needs to do anything in order to receive the extra $300.
Our advice is to read the fine print of your state’s unemployment benefits’ webpage , and follow their instructions, to make sure you are getting the most money possible. If you are already receiving unemployment, you should absolutely continue to do the same paperwork and file claims like usual.
Who Qualifies For Extra Weekly Unemployment Payments
All workers who get regular unemployment benefits should be eligible for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation programs additional weekly $300 benefits, beginning the week ending January 2. Anyone who receives at least $1 in unemployment aid qualifies.
Some workers who are self-employed or have side gigs, but who also earned some regular wages, may get an additional $100 a week. To be eligible for the additional Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation program, you must have earned at least $5,000 a year in 2019 in self-employment income, but be disqualified from receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance as youre eligible for regular state unemployment benefits, too.
But theres another twist, too. States can choose whether to participate in the additional mixed earners unemployment compensation program. According to mixedincome.org, a site set up by the Future of Music Coalition to support those who are eligible, Idaho and South Dakota have not opted into the program.
Note: Ohio said it has started issuing new weekly $300 federal pandemic unemployment compensation payments to those who did not exhaust their benefits before the initial CARES Act program expired on Dec. 27, but is still processing others.
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When Workers Can Expect To Receive The New $300 Unemployment Boost
The Department of Labor confirmed this week that workers will be entitled to the full 11 weeks of enhanced unemployment benefits laid out in the $900 billion Covid rescue package for periods of joblessness from Dec. 27 through March 14, 2021. Payments for the first week covered in the act, which ends Jan. 2 or 3 depending on the state, will go out early next week.
Previously, lawmakers and labor experts worried President Donald Trump’s delay in signing the bill would cut aid for millions of jobless Americans down to 10 weeks, though that is no longer the case.
While some states expect to get new boosted payments out after this weekend, it could take others several weeks to reintroduce new payments to record-level numbers of claimants. With that said, most states are expected to start issuing the $300 boost to workers in the next two to three weeks, writes Andrew Stettner, a senior fellow with The Century Foundation.
What About States Ending Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Early
Several states have already announced they will be ending their participation in the federally funded unemployment programs early in a bid to encourage jobless workers to return to the workforce.
In this situation retroactive payments for any eligible claims filed prior to the states pandemic program participation date will continue to be processed and paid. Retroactive benefit payments could occur several weeks after the end date for covered weeks as states update systems to account for the end of these programs and revert back to their traditional unemployment programs/systems.
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While the $600 FPUC program has now ended , with no formal extension in place due to a Congressional stalemate, it was been replaced by the Lost Wages Assistance unemployment benefits program. You can see this article for details on the now expired temporary LWA $300 weekly payment that President Trump approved in mid-August via executive order. Most states have made all payments under this program including retroactive payments.
So if you are still getting at least $100 of benefits under current and enhanced benefit programs then you should continue to certify on weekly or bi-weekly basis to receive current and retroactive $300 weekly payments. Both the payments are being administered and paid by state unemployment agencies. So you would need to contact them if you are having issues with these payments. See below and comments section for helpful tips.
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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 receive your first payment of eligible state UI benefits.
Could Pandemic Benefits Be Reinstated
As the federal expiration deadline approached, White House officials made it clear they were not planning to continue the enhanced jobless benefits past Labor Day, saying they were intended to be temporary. When multiple states pulled out of pandemic-era unemployment programs prematurely during the summer, Labor Department officials had said their hands were tied and they couldn’t counter decisions by governors.
On Sept. 15, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced that she would be introducing a bill to retroactively extend enhanced jobless benefits until February 2022. Saying she’s not sure of the prospects of the legislation being passed, Ocasio-Cortez noted that she “could not allow this to happen without at least trying.” The following day, she and 12 other Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to the House leadership urging them to include an expansion of unemployment aid in the $3.5 trillion budget package known as the Build Back Better Act.
It’s not clear at this time which states will choose to use any leftover pandemic funds to continue jobless benefits. According to a CBS News report, not every state has shut the door to continuing some benefits, with some local officials reviewing options for providing assistance after the Labor Day expiration.
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Are The $300 Bonus Checks Retroactive
Though the language of the stimulus bill doesn’t specify whether the unemployment bonus is retroactive, that doesn’t appear to be the case, The Washington Post reported. Observers don’t expect that we’ll see a federally instituted lump sum payment to make up for previous weeks of not receiving a $300 check.
Extra $300 Will Be Effective After Program Starts December 26
The ETAs guidance means that the extra $300 unemployment benefit program will restart on December 26 and first apply to the unemployment week that ends on January 2 or January 3, 2021, depending on the state. While this is when the program officially starts, it may not be when individuals see the extra funds in their accounts. The ETA released a table summarizing key dates for FPUC as well as other unemployment programs.
A summary of key dates for FPUC and other unemployment programs.
Department of Labor
Because the ETA just released official guidance, it will take states several weeks to reprogram their computer systems. Therefore, while individuals will be eligible for the $300 benefit for the unemployment week ending January 2 or 3, they may not receive payment for that week until later depending on how quickly their state can finish updating its unemployment program. That may be tough for many Americans. We are talking about people who have been getting by on less than poverty level benefits for months, so to have to go a couple of weeks with no income, until a lump sum comes in, is tough, Evermore said.
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Are Unemployment Benefits Retroactive
Yes. Once their state is set up, people already receiving benefits will see the supplemental aid come through with their regular state payments, retroactive to Aug. 1, the FEMA guidance says. States that began reconfiguring their systems on Aug. 8 could start administering payments by Aug. 29, according to the Department of Labor.
Experts worry about how long it could take. Many states already lacked the technology to deal with the massive wave of layoffs and furloughs in the spring, causing issues for their computer systems.
In Kentucky, Beshear said that those receiving benefits for the weeks of July 26 to Aug. 15 will be eligible to receive the additional $400, but said that people likely won’t start receiving the money until early September.
Guidance Mitigates Impact Of Trumps Delay In Signing Stimulus Package
Because Trump delayed signing the stimulus bill, there was worry that millions would lose out on a weeks worth of benefits. The extra $300 only applies to benefit weeks after enactment, Michele Evermore, a policy expert at the National Employment Law Project, had explained. If Trump doesnt sign by midnight , then the $300 will only apply to 10 weeks of benefits at most, she told me several days ago.
Luckily, experts, including Evermore, later identified a workaround that permitted the ETA to interpret the language in the new stimulus bill in a more favorable way. This revised interpretation allowed the extra $300 payment to be disbursed for the full 11 weeks. Essentially, the ETA read the new stimulus agreement as an amendment that renewed existing unemployment program agreements with states as opposed to creating new ones. If Labor is able to renew old agreements with a new end date, it would have no effect on this week of benefits, Evermore noted, referring to the week of December 27.
Evermore had cautioned that this interpretation needed to be vetted and approved by the ETA. In its guidance letter, the ETA adopted this position. The Department interprets the Agreement to incorporate amendments to the CARES Act made by the Continued Assistance Act, it wrote in UIPL 09-21. The Department does not view having a new agreement or addendums as necessary in order to implement the statutory changes because amendments are incorporated by reference.
Who Gets Left Out
The measure threatens to leave behind many low-wage workers. At least 1 million unemployed workers earn less than $100 a week, or about 6% of individuals on basic state unemployment, according to Eliza Forsythe, a labor economist and assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. That disproportionately affects female, low-wage and part-time workers, she said.
To be sure, nearly everyone who is on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which includes self-employed and others who don’t qualify for standard unemployment, should be above that $100 a week threshold, Forsythe says.