Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.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 Issues Guidance on Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has issued updated guidance that provides implementation information to states regarding two unemployment insurance programs: Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC).
On Dec. 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, reauthorizing the payment of FPUC benefits and creating the new MEUC program. Today’s guidance provides states with important information about the extension of FPUC program authority, and the initial program authorization of MEUC.
In addition to reauthorizing FPUC, the new law also modifies the program, which expired July 31, 2020. FPUC now provides $300 per week to supplement benefits for weeks of unemployment beginning after Dec. 26, 2020, and ending on or before March 14, 2021. FPUC is not payable with respect to any week during the gap in applicability, that is, weeks of unemployment ending after July 31, 2020, through weeks of unemployment ending on or before Dec. 26, 2020.
The law also created MEUC, a program that allows states the option to participate or not. For states participating in the program, MEUC provides an additional $100 per week in supplemental benefits to individuals receiving certain unemployment insurance benefits who received at least $5,000 of self-employment income in the most recent taxable year ending prior to the individual’s application for regular unemployment compensation. Individuals who receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance are ineligible for MEUC benefits. Authority to make MEUC payments continues through weeks of unemployment ending on or before March 14, 2021. As a week of unemployment ends on a Saturday in most states, the last compensable week before the MEUC program expires is the week ending March 13, 2021. In states where a week of unemployment ends on a Sunday, the last compensable week before the MEUC program expires is the week ending March 14, 2021.
“Although Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation will both help alleviate the burden many unemployed workers continue to face, we need to be clear it is unlikely that eligible claimants will immediately begin seeing these benefits,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training John Pallasch. “Any time Congress creates a new program such as MEUC, the states must work with the Department to ensure they are standing up and operating the new program with integrity. To this end, the Department stands ready to help states implement them in a rapid manner to ensure the timely payment of benefits.”
The guidance released today is Unemployment Insurance Program Letter No. 15-20 Change 3.
The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high-quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.
The mission of the Department of Labor 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.