During the COVID-19 pandemic, more Unemployment Insurance services and benefits are available than usual. One of those benefits is commonly called the FPUC. The FPUC is the program which provided $600 a week in addition to an Unemployment Insurance benefit based on income. The FPUC expired on July 25, 2020. The following describes Unemployment Insurance services and benefits in an effort to help Claimants understand the current status of benefits and services.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments
FPUC provided an additional $600 per week to all eligible Unemployment Insurance claims between March 29 and July 25, 2020. This program ended on July 25, and the final $600 will be applied to claims paid for that week. Although Congress is debating a new program to replace the FPUC, for the time being, Claimants will not receive this $600/week benefit, but eligible Claimants will continue to receive the following benefits.
Regular Unemployment Insurance
Regular Unemployment Insurance is available at any time to those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, such as through a layoff. To be eligible, the employee must have worked a certain number of hours during the previous year, and he or she must have worked for an employer who paid into the Unemployment Insurance system. The minimum Unemployment Insurance benefit for those who qualify is $38 per week, and the maximum benefit is $526 per week. Regular Unemployment Insurance is available for up to 26 weeks, which do not have to be consecutive, during a one-year period.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
This benefit provides a 13-week extension for those claimants receiving regular Unemployment Insurance benefits. Claimants who qualify for PEUC will receive their regular Unemployment Insurance benefits for an additional 13 weeks after the original 26 weeks have been expended. This program is available to claimants who are unemployed between March 29 and Dec. 26, 2020, and claimants must apply for this benefit.
Claimants who have exhausted their regular Unemployment Insurance and PEUC benefits may be eligible for Extended Benefits. This state-administered extension is automatically applied to eligible claims. Those who qualify need only continue submitting continued claims.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Many people do not qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance because they worked for an employer who did not pay into the Unemployment Insurance system (such as churches, non-profit organizations, etc.) or are self-employed, contract workers or gig economy workers. The CARES Act provides assistance to those who do not qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance through the PUA. This program applies similar benefits as regular Unemployment Insurance. For PUA, the minimum weekly benefit is $193, the maximum weekly benefit is $526, and claimants may receive these benefits for 39 weeks. This program is available through the week ending December 26, 2020.