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CARES Act extension and changes to unemployment benefit programs

The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) offers information on changes to benefit programs related to COVID-19.

The information below is based upon the most recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor. This website will be updated frequently.

Table of Contents

Overview and Implementation Details

The Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020, which extends benefits under the CARES Act, and provides new qualification requirements, was signed into law on December 27, 2020.

Because the Continued Assistance Act was signed on December 27, 2020, individuals collecting benefits under the PUA and PEUC programs will be eligible for benefits for the week ending January 2, 2021.

DUA has already implemented some of the provisions of the Continued Assistance Act of 2020:

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

  • As of January 6, 2021, DUA has implemented FPUC for UI claimants. The additional $300 was added to weekly benefit payments for the week ending January 2, 2021.
  • PUA claimants will receive their FPUC payments beginning Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

  • DUA has implemented the extended PUA program and payments after the week ending December 26, 2020 began being paid beginning on Monday, January 11, 2020.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

  • The extended PEUC program (PEUC 1.1) has now been implemented in UI Online. Claimants should expect to see payments in their account, including retroactive payments to the week ending January 2, 2021, if eligible, early next week (week of February 8- February 14th). Claimants who have not been signing in will need to request these weeks through UI Online.
  • For many PEUC claimants, the PEUC program will conclude the week ending March 13, 2021. However, claimants who are eligible for PEUC during the week ending March 13, 2021 and have not yet exhausted their 24 weeks will be able to claim PEUC through the week ending April 10, 2021.
  • Claimants who exhausted PEUC 1.0 and Extended Benefits (EB), or were not eligible for EB, should check their claim by Monday, February 8, 2021. The PEUC 1.1 program should be on the claim and the claim status should change to “Exhausted Inactive” or “Expired Inactive”.
  • The link to reopen will be available. Claimants must reopen their claim by accessing their UI account or contacting a Claims Agent.   
  • Once the claim has been reopened, overnight, the UI Online system will automatically predate the claim back to the week ending 1/2/2021. The weeks should then be made requestable for the claimant to request benefits, on the day after the claim is reopened. CLAIMANTS MUST REQUEST THESE BENEFITS ONCE THE CLAIM IS REOPENED. THESE WEEKS WILL NOT BECOME AVAILABLE UNTIL THE FOLLOWING DAY. Eligible claimants will receive a notice instructing them to reopen their claim.

Extended Benefits (EB)

  • Extended Benefits (EB) will remain active due to continued federal funding until conditions for the 13-week entitlement “trigger off” ” or until the week ending March 13, 2021. Eligible claimants are receiving their weekly benefits.
  • Claimants who exhaust EB need just continue certifying for benefits and will automatically transition on to PEUC 1.1.
unemployment benefit programs flowchart

Additional Resources

Summary of Programs

As a reminder, among the changes contained in the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020 are:

Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020 Program Program Summary
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
  • Provides 11 weeks of an additional $300 weekly benefit to eligible claimants.
  • A claimant must be eligible through a separate unemployment program to receive FPUC.
  • FPUC will be available for weeks of unemployment between the week ending January 2, 2021 and the week ending March 13, 2021. FPUC is not retroactive.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • Provides an additional 11 weeks of benefits, to a maximum of 57 weeks. The additional 11 weeks are not retroactive.
  • For many PUA claimants, the PUA program will conclude the week ending March 13, 2021. However, claimants who are receiving PUA during the week ending March 13, 2021 and have not yet exhausted their 57 weeks of benefits will be able to claim PUA through the week ending April 10, 2021.
  • New claimants filing after January 31, 2021 will be required to provide documentation of employment, self-employment, or a qualifying job offer within 21 days of filing. Claimants with established claims receiving payments in 2021 will have 90 days from the date they are notified to provide such documentation.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Provides an additional 11 weeks of benefits, up to a maximum of 24 weeks. The additional 11 weeks are not retroactive.
  • For many PEUC claimants, the PEUC program will conclude the week ending March 13, 2021. However, claimants who are receiving PEUC during the week ending March 13, 2021 and have not yet exhausted their 24 weeks will be able to claim PEUC through the week ending April 10, 2021.
Extended Benefits (EB)
  • Extended Benefits (EB) will remain active due to continued federal funding until conditions for the 13-week entitlement “trigger off” ” or until the week ending March 13, 2021.

 

Contact

Phone

Call Center (877) 626-6800

Open 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday. Multilingual call agents are available.

TeleCert Line (Automated system is operational*) (617) 626-6338

To request weekly benefits, daily 6 a.m.–10 p.m.

Payment Status Line (Automated System is operational*) (617) 626-6563

To check your claim or benefit payment status (*please do not transfer to an agent while in the system-this is not staffed at this time)

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