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Unemployment Program Changes

Some PUA claimants must file a new claim:

Due to the quarter change, the Unemployment Insurance system is using new base period wages. Because of this, Unemployment Insurance claimants who are receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits must file a new regular Unemployment Insurance claim before continuing to receive benefits from this CARES Act program.

If you are receiving PUA benefits and you receive an error message when you attempt to file a continued claim, you must file a new regular unemployment claim. The message states: “The Benefit Year of your regular unemployment claim has ended. You must attempt to file a new regular unemployment claim before payment can continue.” This can be done in the system, or you can call 307-473-3789 to file by phone.

Please note: When you are filing your new initial claim for regular unemployment, please answer "NO" to the following question: "Are you unemployed as a result of a major pandemic which occurred in Wyoming and was declared by the President of the United States?" If you answer "YES," it can cause errors and delays on your claim. 

If you have an existing PUA claim and have already submitted proof of wages, you will not need to resubmit those documents. You will need to wait until after your eligibility for the new regular unemployment claim has been determined before you can file a continued claim for payment. The time needed to establish the new claim is about a week. 

State assistance remains available when $600 payments end: Federal FPUC payments to Unemployment Insurance claimants end on July 25

The Department of Workforce Services reminds Wyoming workers that state assistance is available when the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which provides an extra $600 per week to everyone receiving unemployment benefit payments, ends July 25, 2020.

Under federal guidelines, the week ending Saturday, July 25, 2020, will be the final claim week for the additional $600 payments. Eligible claimants who are waiting on FPUC payments for any claim weeks from April 4 through July 25 will receive those payments.

“Unemployment benefits and the federal programs that have provided aid through the COVID-19 pandemic have been a tremendous help to individuals and communities,” said Holly McKamey Simoni, Workforce Programs Administrator for DWS. “Since mid-March, DWS has paid more than $91million in state Unemployment Insurance benefits, as well as more than $177million in federal aid. In total, we’ve sent more than $268 million to the people who have found themselves out of work or on severely reduced incomes through this pandemic.”

Simoni notes that though the FPUC payments of $600 per week are ending soon, DWS continues to offer programs designed to help Wyoming workers who have lost income or employment meet basic needs until they are able to start work again. Those programs include Unemployment Insurance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), the Workforce Development Training Fund and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs. Unemployed workers may be eligible for financial assistance, help finding work, free or reduced-cost training for a new career, and other services. Additionally, the Vocational Rehabilitation division can assist those with barriers to employment and provide rehabilitation counseling and services to help eligible individuals reach their career goals.

“Even when the FPUC program ends, Workforce Services still has many opportunities to help those who are seeking work,” said Holly McKamey Simoni, Workforce Programs Administrator for DWS. “The WIOA program and the Workforce Development Training Fund, including our Apprenticeship Grants and Internship Grants, can help a person get not just a job, but a new career.”

Wyoming workers who have experienced a change in income or job loss, regardless of its relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, can apply for benefits online at any time at Those who prefer to file by phone may call 307-473-3789. Assistance can also be reached at any of the state’s 20 Workforce Centers.

Visit the Workforce Resources in Response to COVID-19 page at to also find:

Frequently asked questions;

Information for workers;

Information for employers;

Access to the job site;

And other COVID-19 information.

Sublette COVID-19
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