A new pandemic relief package has been signed into law. For the millions across the nation now waiting for vital pandemic #unemployment programs to restart, an end to political negotiations means a renewal of the benefits they need.
But what did congress finally agree to for unemployment benefits and how will this affect you if you’re waiting for unemployment assistance? Also, after unemployment, what comes next?
Here is what you can expect from pandemic the unemployment programs that have been signed into law.
Depending on which of the pandemic unemployment programs you qualify for (if approved) you can expect to receive $300 per week from this relief package - helping you get more from unemployment.
If you are unemployed and have exhausted your state’s claim period limit for unemployment insurance you should begin to receive an additional $300 per week through the PEUC program. If you are approved to receive state unemployment benefits, this $300 will be added on to the amount you’re receiving from your state’s unemployment office. The amount of time you can claim PEUC for has also been extended from 39 weeks to 50 weeks.
If you were employed in a field not typically covered by unemployment insurance, such as self-employment, contract, or gig work, you can expect your PUA benefits to resume at up to $300 per week, depending on your previous income. The amount of time you can claim PUA has also been extended from 39 weeks to 50 weeks.
The previously lapsed program FPUC has also been renewed. Under renewed eligibility requirements, if you receive at least one dollar in unemployment benefits from a number of unemployment insurance programs (including PEUC and PUA) you will also receive a flat payment of $300 in addition to your current unemployment amount. This additional benefit should be automatically applied to your unemployment payment and you will not need to apply for this program as long as you qualify for an eligible unemployment program.
The new pandemic relief package provides funds for PEUC, PUA and FPUC between December 27th, 2020 and March 14th, 2021. Individuals will be limited to 10 weeks of eligibility for their PEUC and PUA benefits. If an unemployment claimant hasn’t exhausted their 10 weeks of eligibility by March 14th, 2021, they will be able to continue claiming benefits until a final cutoff date of April 5th, 2021. It's important to have a plan when you will stop waiting for unemployment.
The timing of unemployment benefit dispersal is reliant on a number of variables that are unique to each state and individual. However, lawmakers estimate that the average unemployment claimant will have to wait until early- to mid-January to receive the renewed unemployment benefit.
PEUC and PUA claimants have experienced a lapse in benefits for the week of 12/27 due to a delay in signing the new stimulus bill. Unlike previous PUA lapses, there is no indication at this time that the missed week of benefits will be paid out retroactively for this period.
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