Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation: Benefits & Eligibility
Updated : August 18th, 2020
To help Americans who lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus, the federal government has announced financial relief measures. This includes Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).
While PUA provides unemployment benefits to the self-employed, gig workers, etc., FPUC provides an additional $600 to those eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits.
What Is Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation?
The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation allows you to receive unemployment insurance benefits for an additional 13 weeks. This means that you can collect benefits for a longer period than under normal conditions.
Who Is Eligible For PEUC?
You must meet certain criteria to qualify for PEUC. The requirements include:
- You must have exhausted all your rights to regular benefits under federal or state law concerning the benefit year that ended on or after July 1, 2019. That is to qualify for PEUC benefits, you must have received 26 weeks of regular unemployment compensation UC on or after July 1, 2019.
- You must be able to work, actively seek work, and available to work. However, the bill specifies that “a state must provide flexibility in meeting this requirement in case the applicant is unable to look for work because of the Coronavirus, including quarantine, movement restriction or illness.”
- You have no rights to regular benefits under other federal or state UC laws or benefits under any other federal law.
The Department Of Labor has also issued guidlines, which states that the applicant is required only to exhaust regular unemployment compensation and not any extended UC to which he/she may be entitled.
Based on this guidance, you may receive PEUC for the ensuing 13 weeks, provided you meet the requirements mentioned above.
Note – The eligibility criteria may vary with states. Refer your state’s unemployment benefits to learn more about requirements in your state.
What Is The Weekly Benefit Amount?
For a week of total unemployment, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation is the amount of regular benefit payable during the benefit year, under state law.
For a week of partial unemployment, the PEUC benefit is the amount of regular benefit payable during the benefit year for partial unemployment, under state law.
Where to Apply for PEUC?
If you are currently filing and receiving unemployment benefits, then you are not required to reapply for an additional 13 weeks. If you are not receiving, then you can apply for the benefits through a state-owned website for unemployment benefits.
- The action of filing the PEUC claim does not start payments. You are required to file a weekly certification for weeks you want to receive benefits from the PEUC program.
- Weeks for compensation start on Sunday and end on the following Saturday. That is, you can file for a week of unemployment on Sunday for the week that ended on Saturday.
- You have only 13 days to complete the certification to complete your certification. Failure to certify within the 13 days following the Saturday of the week you wish to receive benefits, may disqualify you for benefits for the week.
- Similar to regular unemployment insurance benefits, child support obligations must be deducted from your PEUC benefits.
- When receiving your PEUC benefit, you will be required to report your weekly claim each week to be paid. The authorities will use the same payment method used to pay your other benefits.
- When your claim expires, you are required to file a new claim, even if you still have a PEUC balance.
Is Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Taxable?
PEUC is a federal program and is taxable. The benefits will be included on your 1099G for the 2020 tax year. However, taxes will be withheld from PEUC, provided you have elected to have taxes withheld from your regular UI benefits.
Though Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation is a federal program, it is administered at the state level. If you are unemployed but not eligible for the regular UI benefits, apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
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