Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Continued Assistance for Unemployed Worked Act of 2020
The Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020 (Continued Assistance Act), which is part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, extends the following unemployment assistance programs created by the CARES Act:
Extension and Benefit Phaseout Rule for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
- Extends PUA to March 14, 2021 and allows individuals receiving benefits as of March 14, 2021 to continue through April 5, 2021, as long as the individual has not reached the maximum number of weeks.
- Increases the number of weeks of unemployment benefits an individual may claim from 39 to 50.
Extension of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC)
- Restores the PUC supplement to all state and federal unemployment benefits at $300 per week, starting after December 26 and ending March 14, 2021.
Extension and Benefit Phaseout Rule for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
- Extends PEUC to March 14, 2021 and allows individuals receiving benefits as of March 14, 2021 to continue through April 5, 2021, as long as the individual has not reached the maximum number of weeks.
- Increases the number of weeks of benefits an individual may claim through the PEUC program from 13 to 24.
- Provides rules for states about sequencing these benefits with other unemployment benefits.
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation
- Provides a federally funded $100 per week additional benefit to individuals who have at least $5,000 a year in self-employment income but are disqualified from receiving PUA because they are eligible for regular state unemployment benefits. This mixed-earner supplemental benefit would be added to the PUC and would terminate along with it on March 14, 2021. [read more]
The new law also extends through March 14, 2021 the CARES Act provision which reimbursed states for the cost of waiving the “waiting week” for regular unemployment compensation, and sets the reimbursement percentage for weeks ending after December 26, 2020 at 50%.
On March 27, 2020, the President of the United States signed the CARES Act, providing relief to American workers, families and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Provisions of this legislation include additional Unemployment Insurance (“UI”) assistance to workers impacted by COVID-19. This new law provides:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – Extended eligibility for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for UI benefits (e.g., self-employed workers, independent contractors). Read more – U.S Department of Labor Guidance on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
- Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) – An additional $600 per week, on top of regular benefits, to all UI recipients. Read more – U.S. Department of Labor Guidance on Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – An additional 13 weeks of UI benefits, beyond the regular 26 weeks already provided, for a total of 39 weeks of coverage. Read more – U.S. Department of Labor Guidance on Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program
» U.S. Department of Labor: Unemployment Insurance Relief During the COVID-19 Outbreak (For additional guidance, fact sheets, news releases, frequently asked questions)
How do I apply for these benefits?
To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you need to file a claim with the unemployment insurance program in the state where you worked. Depending on the state, claims may be filed in person, by telephone or online.
- You should contact your state’s unemployment insurance program as soon as possible after becoming unemployed.
- Generally, you should file your claim with the state where you worked. If you worked in a state other than the one where you now live or if you worked in multiple states, the state unemployment insurance agency where you now live can provide information about how to file your claim with other states.
- When you file a claim, you will be asked for certain information, such as addresses and dates of your former employment. To make sure your claim is not delayed, be sure to give complete and correct information.
- Find the contact information for your state’s unemployment office to start your claim.
The New York State Department of Labor published the following flowchart about “What You Need to Know and Do About the CARES Act.” Additional information about these benefits can be found on the NY Department of Labor website.
The following -NEW- publications provide additional information and guidance for New Yorkers about COVID-19 unemployment insurance benefits:
This website has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only; it does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this website without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy of completeness of the information contained in this publication; and, to the extent permitted by law, Tronconi Segarra & Associates LLP, its members, employees and agents do not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this website or for any decision based on it.