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A Guide To Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation

Updated : August 4th, 2020

To help the unemployed meet their financial needs, the U.S. Congress has passed a $2 trillion stimulus package, known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act includes several unemployment benefits programs, and one among them is the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program.

What Is The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program?

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation is a temporary program that offers an additional $600 per week to those who receive unemployment benefits. 

Eligibility Criteria For The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation

To qualify for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, you must be eligible for any one of the following programs.

  1. Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI)
  2. Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE)
  3. Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX)
  4. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  5. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  6. Extended Benefits (EB)
  7. Trade Readjustment Allowances ( TRA)
  8. Work Sharing Benefits

Other requirements include:

  • Able to work, actively seek for work and available for work
  • Submission of a complete record of work searches
  • Report earnings made during the week of claiming benefits. They include, but are not limited to, income/wages, paid sick time, and vacation pay

Though FPUC requires you to be available for work, the Federal law has given flexibility for states to amend their own laws to accommodate for the pandemic situation. States can pay benefits when:

  •  An employer temporarily shuts down due to the coronavirus, preventing you from going to work
  • You are quarantined and expect to rejoin your work post quarantine 
  • You stop going to work due to a risk of Coronavirus exposure or infection

Where To File For FPUC?

To apply for FPUC, you must first file a claim for regular unemployment benefits. If you have recently filed for UI benefits, the FPUC amount will be added to your future unemployment weeks.  

But if you have not filed for the regular benefits, visit the state (where you worked) website and apply for the benefits. You can also apply in person or over the phone. When you file a claim, provide your Social Security number, email ID, telephone number, address, and your former employment details. Some states may also require driving license details. If you are not aware of the documents needed to file a claim, visit the state-owned website. 

How Long Can You Receive FPUC Benefits?

The FPUC benefit is available only for a limited time. The program pays for the weeks of unemployment that start after March 28, 2020, and ends on or before July 31, 2020. The amount is paid from the week ending April 4, 2020, to the week ending July 25, 2020. 

The first benefit that you receive will include payments for prior weeks that you did not receive. For instance, if you qualify for regular UI benefits for the week ending April 4, and you generally get it on Tuesday, then on Tuesday, April 21, you will receive FPUC benefits for April 4, 11, and 18.

Note that you will receive the amount at the same time as you receive your other unemployment benefit payments. 

What Kinds Of Benefits Are Deductible From FPUC?

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation is subject to certain deductions. The payment can be reduced due to Child Support obligations or other benefit offsets. 

The Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) collects child support obligations, and the amount to be withheld is determined by an agreement between the affected parent and CSEA. When you qualify for FPUC benefits, the CSEA will be notified and will determine your deductibles.

But the earnings from pensions or part-time jobs are not deducted from your FPUC benefits.

Is Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Taxable?

Similar to regular UI benefits, the FPUC payment is taxable. You can choose to have state (5%) or federal (10%) income taxes deducted from your FPUC benefit. At the end of the calendar year, you will receive a Form 1099G, and the benefit you received will be reported to the State Tax Office and Internal Revenue Service.

Closing Thoughts

FPUC can help you support your needs and make it through these difficult times. If you are self-employed or a gig worker and are qualified for FPUC, you need not not worry. You may still be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

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  1. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  2. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  3. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

  4. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  5. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  6. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  7. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  8. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  9. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

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