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Alaska Unemployment Extension

Alaska unemployment benefits last 16 to 26 weeks, depending on your employment history when you apply for unemployment benefits. However, there are times when regular benefits can be extended beyond 26 weeks. Benefit extensions occur when there is a serious issue in the state of Alaska, such as a pandemic, or a natural disaster like a flood, hurricane, or wildfire. Regular UI benefits can also be extended during a major economic recession when the rate of unemployment is too high.

Currently, there are no extended benefits in the state of Alaska. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, a variety of state and federal programs helped Alaskans receive extra weeks of unemployment compensation.

Let’s look at the different types of unemployment extensions offered in the state of Alaska.

Extended Benefits (EB)

Extended unemployment benefits are available in Alaska when there are a lot of people out of work. Jobless workers who have already used up their regular unemployment benefits can get up to 50% more of their usual amount, including money for up to three dependents.

The state of Alaska decides if they will give EB based on how many Alaskans are unemployed. They use special rules and calculations to make this decision.

Claimants eligible for this Alaska unemployment extension can receive an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits.

To be eligible for an unemployment extension, a worker must have an active unemployment claim that ended after the first week when the extended benefit became available, and they must not have been fired or quit their job for a reason that would disqualify them from receiving benefits.

Additionally, you must be willing to look for and accept any suitable job. Suitable work is a job that the worker has experience in and can physically and mentally perform.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is a federal program that provides unemployment assistance in the event of a natural disaster. If a person loses their job due to a disaster, they may be able to get up to 26 weeks of special unemployment help. The federal government must declare the disaster before DUA can be given. Then, the state’s DUA Coordinator and the people from FEMA will give information about DUA to those affected in the designated areas.

You may be eligible for Alaska DUA if:

  • You have used up all their regular unemployment benefits (UI)
  • You lost your job or can’t work because of the disaster
  • You can’t get to their job or business because of the disaster
  • You can’t work because they were hurt by the disaster
  • You are now the main person supporting your household because someone died as a result of the disaster
  • You were working or running your own business in the area affected by the disaster

CARES Act and American Rescue Plan

During the pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act, and later the American Rescue Plan, to provide emergency relief to unemployed workers affected by COVID-19.

Several benefit programs were created, including Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC). Since the decline of the pandemic, these programs have all ended and are no longer available.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

Eligible Alaskans were given up to 53 weeks of extended benefits during the pandemic. The weekly payment was the same amount as they received from regular unemployment benefits. The PEUC program expired on Sept. 6, 2021.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation started out by providing an extra $600 per week to eligible recipients. After December 2020, these federal unemployment benefits were reduced to $300.

To be eligible for FPUC, you must have already exhausted all other UI benefits. For example, if you filed for regular state UI and were eligible for 20 weeks of benefits and you got all 20 weeks, you’ve exhausted your rights because you don’t have any money left. If your benefit period ended, you’ve also exhausted your rights because you no longer have an active claim. This program ended in Alaska on June 19, 2021.

Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)

Launched in Dec 2020, the Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) assisted Alaskans who were at least partly self-employed.

Alaskans who applied for regular unemployment benefits and made $5,000 or more from self-employment received an extra $100 each week on top of their regular benefits and any federal COVID aid. Alaska stopped participating in the MEUC programs in June 2021.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) helped people during the pandemic who owned small businesses, worked for themselves, or were unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You were only eligible for PUA benefits if you did not qualify for the other benefit programs. UI benefits were extended for up to 79 weeks, depending on eligibility. This program ended on September 6th, 2021.

    • Shannon,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

    • Tasha,

      You need a W2 to file taxes. Please visit the official website of the Unemployment Office or call them to get one.

  1. Is December 2017 can I get Alaska unemployment extension, I am In San Diego California and is currently a federeal disaster zone due to fires?

    • EUC or extended benefits expired across the country as of 28th dec 2013 and is awaiting congressional approval for extension.

      Please track national news and apply if/when you hear about extension.

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