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Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 created a new temporary federal program called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), that has been extended by the American Rescue Plan Act.

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  • The CARES Act creating PEUC provides up to 13 additional weeks of benefits to an individual who has exhausted all rights to any regular unemployment compensation and who meets other eligibility requirements of the CARES Act. 
  • The Continuing Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act (CAA) provided an additional 11 weeks of PEUC benefits
  • The American Rescue Plan Act provides an additional 29 weeks of benefits, up to a maximum of 53 weeks.
  • PEUC benefits are now available through the standard Unemployment Insurance program in Massachusetts and can be accessed at UI online.

Eligibility for standard Unemployment Insurance claimants who have exhausted benefits

  • Claimants who have exhausted their claim with a benefit year end date on or after 7/6/2019 are potentially eligible for PEUC.
  • PEUC offers an additional 53 weeks of benefits to individuals at their former weekly benefit amount, plus dependents, if applicable. The PEUC program will conclude the week ending September 4, 2021.
  • The first week a claimant can be eligible for PEUC is the week beginning 3/29/2020.
  • For most claimants, the last payable week of PEUC is the week ending 9/4/2021.
  • If the UI claim has expired, a claimant must file a new regular UI claim prior to filing for PEUC.
  • If the claimant files a new claim on or after 12/27/2020, and is monetarily eligible on the new UI claim, but the new claim’s weekly benefit amount is $25 or more lower than the PEUC benefits, the claimant will remain on PEUC until those benefits are exhausted.
  • If the claimant applied for the new claim on 12/26/2020 or earlier, regardless of the benefit rate amount, the claimant will receive benefits from the new claim.
  • If the claimant is not monetarily eligible on the new claim, the claimant will be eligible for PEUC on the prior claim and UI Online will automatically implement that.
  • If a claimant has been receiving regular UI benefits and those benefits are exhausted, PEUC will automatically begin, and the claimant does not have to take any further action.
  • Claimants who were receiving RED (Section 30) benefits will be automatically transferred to receive PEUC benefits.
  • PEUC is 100% federally funded. PEUC payments are subject to state and federal taxes and the claimant’s tax withholding preference will be applied.
  • PEUC payments may be offset by 50% to recover any overpayments. 



Call Center (877) 626-6800

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


To access PUA application online: Log in as a claimant