Idaho Unemployment Extension
When the state’s unemployment rate is abnormally high, the Idaho unemployment insurance program will sometimes offer Extended Benefits to unemployed workers who have gone through their regular UI benefits. These programs are federally funded, and are typically offered during extenuating circumstances, such as times of high unemployment, a pandemic, or natural disaster.
Are Extended Benefits currently available in Idaho?
As of 2023, Idaho does not offer Extended Benefits. When you apply for unemployment benefits, you will be eligible for 10 to 26 weeks of benefits, depending on previous wages and the state’s current unemployment rate. You can use the Idaho unemployment calculator to estimate current benefits.
Idaho Extended Benefit (EB) Program
The federal Extended Benefits program is a program that offers additional benefits to people who have already exhausted their regular unemployment compensation. In Idaho, the Extended Benefits program awards 13 extra weeks to qualified individuals.
Extended Benefits are automatically triggered when the state unemployment rate exceeds 5% and is more than 120% of the average unemployment rate for the previous two years.
Idaho Disaster Unemployment Assistance
The Disaster Unemployment Assistance program is available in Idaho to provide financial assistance to those who are out of work due to a natural disaster. This program is administered by the Idaho Department of Labor and is designed to help workers who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits, such as those who are self-employed or work in agriculture.
To meet the eligibility requirements, individuals must have been directly affected by the disaster and be able and available to work. The Disaster Unemployment Assistance program provides benefits for up to 26 weeks and is operated by FEMA and the United States DOL.
CARES Act and American Rescue Plan
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the American Rescue Plan were two laws passed by the US Congress to provide economic relief to individuals, businesses, and states affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act was passed in March 2020 and provided aid, including direct payments to individuals, expanded unemployment benefits, and funding for businesses and healthcare. The American Rescue Plan, passed in March 2021, continued many of these relief efforts while providing additional funding for vaccine distribution, education, and housing.
Idaho received significant aid from both laws. Under the CARES Act, the state received more than $1.25 billion in funding, which was used for things like COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, small business grants, and education. Additionally, more than $450 million was allocated to Idaho individuals and families in the form of stimulus payments and expanded UI benefits.
Under the American Rescue Plan, Idaho received more than $1.1 billion in funding, with much of it going toward healthcare, education, and infrastructure. The law also provided additional direct payments to individuals and families, expanded child tax credits, and extended unemployment benefits.
These bills created several unemployment insurance benefit programs, including:
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) was a program that provided financial assistance to those who were not eligible for regular unemployment benefits, such as self-employed individuals and gig workers. To qualify, individuals must have been unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program was a federal initiative that provided extended unemployment benefits to claimants who exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits. The program was created in response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and provided up to 53 additional weeks of benefits.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program in Idaho provided an additional $300 per week to individuals who were receiving regular unemployment benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. The program was established in response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and was funded by the federal government.
Mixed Earnings Unemployment Compensation
The Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program was a federal initiative that provided additional financial assistance to individuals who had a mix of traditional and self-employment earnings, but only qualified for a low weekly benefit. In Idaho, the program provided an extra $100 per week for eligible individuals who were receiving regular UI benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
Idaho ended its participation in these programs on June 19, 2021.