Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
U.S. Department Of Labor Publishes Guidance on Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the publication of Unemployment Insurance Guidance Letter 15-20 (UIPL) providing guidance to states for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). Under FPUC, states will administer an additional $600 weekly payment to certain eligible individuals who are receiving other benefits. This provision is contained in Section 2104 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) enacted on March 27, 2020.
“The $600 weekly unemployment compensation boost included in the CARES Act will provide valuable support to American workers and their families during this challenging time,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “The Department will continue to provide guidance and support to the States so they can administer the important new benefits under the CARES Act while guarding against fraud and abuse in their Unemployment Insurance systems.”
This program allows states to provide an additional $600 per week benefit to individuals who are collecting regular Unemployment Compensation (including Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) and Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX)), as well as the following unemployment compensation programs: Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC); Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA); Extended Benefits (EB); ShortTime Compensation (STC); Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA); Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); and payments under the Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) program. FPUC benefit payments are fully federally-funded.
To provide assistance and assurance to those eligible, the benefit payments under FPUC may begin as soon as the week after the execution of a signed agreement between the department and states. The timeline for these payments will vary by state. As states begin providing this payment, eligible individuals will receive retroactive payments back to their date of eligibility or the signing of the state agreement, whichever came later. All states have executed agreements with the department as of March 28, 2020. The CARES Act specifies that FPUC benefit payments will end after payments for the last week of unemployment before July 31, 2020.
The UIPL also includes guidance to states about protecting unemployment insurance program integrity, as the provisions in the CARES Act operate in tandem with the fundamental eligibility requirements of the Federal-State UI program. The department is actively working with states receiving funding under the Act to provide unemployment insurance benefits only to those who are entitled to such benefits.
For more information about UIPLs or previous guidance, please visit: https://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/.
For more information about COVID-19, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. For department resources on COVID-19, please visit: https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus.
The Employment and Training Administration administers federal job training and dislocated worker programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs, and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems.
The mission of the department is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.