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Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 creates a new temporary federal program called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).

Table of Contents

Overview

  • 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.  You may be eligible for these federal benefits. 
  • PEUC benefits are now available through the standard Unemployment Insurance program in Massachusetts and can be accessed at UI online.
  • If you had exhausted your regular UI benefit but were receiving benefits through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance you must now head to UI Online to apply and claim your weekly benefits.

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 13 weeks of benefits to individuals at their former weekly benefit amount, plus dependents, if applicable.
  • The first week a claimant can be eligible for PEUC is the week beginning 3/29/2020 and the last payable week is the week ending 12/26/2020. If you have already been claiming extended benefits through the PUA system you will not be eligible for those weeks you claimed in PUA through PEUC.
  • If the UI claim has expired, a claimant must file a new regular UI claim prior to filing for PEUC.
  • If the claimant is monetarily eligible on the new UI claim, 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 will be offset by 50% to recover any overpayments. 

Claimants who have exhausted their regular UI and filed for PUA prior to PEUC implementation

  • Claimants who had been receiving PUA benefits will need to reopen their exhausted UI claim.
  • They will follow the same reopen procedures, however, an issue will be set up and automatically disqualify claimants for any week in which they have received PUA benefits.
  • The claimant’s PEUC weeks will start once the PUA weeks have ended, and the claimant will still be entitled to 13 weeks of PEUC.
  • If a claimant’s PUA benefit rate was lower than their regular UI benefit rate, they cannot receive the difference through PEUC. PUA and PEUC are two completely separate programs.
  • Claimants should immediately stop certifying for benefits through PUA and start requesting benefits on the regular UI claim.

Contact

Phone

Call Center (877) 626-6800

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

Online

To access PUA application online: Log in as a claimant 
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