This article was last updated on May 25
Several states have announced plans or started making the MEUC payment per the guidelines and tracker table below. Due to the challenged rollouts with the 2021 extensions to PUA and PEUC programs many states had put implementation and payment of the MEUC program on the back burner. However with those updates now being rolled out, many participating states are implementing the MEUC program updates and eligible PUA claimants should soon be able to apply (and provide required documentation) to get retroactive back payments for covered weeks. See further details about the program and eligibility below.
Covered in this Article:
$100 Weekly Mixed Earner Program Ending Early in Several States
Following recent job reports that showed a shortage of workers to fill open positions, many Republican (RED) led states have announced that they will be ending one or more of the federally funded pandemic unemployment programs up to 10 weeks earlier than planned in order to incentivize workers to return to work.
The argument is that these generous UI benefits deter lower income workers (who make less than $15 p/hour) from returning to work. Opponents argue that the reason people are not going back to work is due to fears around getting COVID and/or child care and schooling restrictions. You can see more on which states are ending the extra weekly $100 MEUC and 300 FPUC here and a recent YouTube video I made on this topic.
States will still be obligated to implement and pay unemployment benefits up to the early termination date in their state (mid June to mid-July in most states). This includes any missing or retroactive payments.
Biden Stimulus Bill Extension for Mixed Earned Program
The Biden ARP Stimulus package recently passed in Congress extends the Mixed Earner supplement (MEUC) and other enhanced unemployment programs (PUA and PEUC) until September 6th. This is equivalent to an additional 25 weeks. It will be added to the 11 weeks approved under the CAA and paid retroactively for states that are still implementing this program.
Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) Program Overview
A significant provision in federally funded pandemic unemployment programs is an extra $100 weekly payment to workers who had a significant cut to their income due to COVID and had both wage (W2) income and self-employment (1099) income. Think of this as someone with a normal part-time salaried job who also has a reasonable side hustle or freelancing gig making money (e.g Etsy, Contractors or a blogger/you-tuber making more than $5,000).
The new $100 Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation supplement is intended to address a major hole in the original stimulus package which penalized those with this form of mixed income who got lower unemployment benefits because they were only deemed eligible for regular state unemployment or PEUC due to their wage based income. This precluded them from the possibly higher PUA benefit payment they may have been able to get if their self employment income was used as the basis for their total unemployment benefit calculation.
For example Mary, a freelancer graphic designer, earns a large part of her income through contract projects she does for various clients and gets a 1099 tax form for this work. She also works at a bar part-time on the weekends for which she gets paid a weekly salary that includes tips. She has been getting a W-2 tax form at the end of the year from this job. Mary lost her bar job during the year due to COVID but because she qualifies for traditional unemployment and eventually PEUC – due to being classified as a W2 salaried worker by her state UI agency – when she applied for UI benefits only her W2/bar job income is used in figuring her Weekly Unemployment Benefit Amount (WBA).
However if she was able to use her freelancing/1099 income she have a higher wage base and could have actually qualified for a higher weekly benefit payment under the the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) available to freelance and gig workers. This means that her weekly unemployment check will be lower because the income she made from the bar job, which is used for her UI benefit WBA calculation, is significantly less than what she earns from her freelancing graphic designer contract job.
Surprisingly data showed millions of Americans fell into this mixed earner unemployment hole and the extra $100 per week, on top of a $300 per week FPUC to those getting at least $1 of regular or enhanced unemployment is intended to make up for this gap.
This mixed earner benefit payment is however subject to state discretion, so some states may choose to pay it while others may not. If the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program is used as a guideline where states could optionally pay an extra $100, then it is likely only a few states will make this supplementary payment to eligible claimants. Not that this is payment is above and beyond the $300 FPUC that is automatically being paid to eligible claimants (see $300 state tracker). Note that per guidelines, if your state chooses to implement the $100 payment, they must notify you that you are eligible.
Do I qualify for the $100 Mixed earner payment (Examples)?
You qualify if you ALL meet these criteria:
1). Are you getting at least $1 per week in traditional unemployment insurance, which excludes PUA?
2) Did you report $5,000 in 1099 and reportable self-employment income prior to your initial claim? Workers who earned at least $5,000 in self-employment income in 2019 will be eligible for the extra $100 per week effective December 27, 2020 through March 14, 2021.
You will need to submit documentation to prove $5k in self-employment income for new claims. If Initial claim was established in 2020, use tax year 2019 documentation to prove your income. If the Claim was established in 2021, use tax year 2020 information.
If you meet the criteria and your state is paying it (see list below) then you will get this payment added to your weekly benefit once your MEUC application is successful.
Will missed payment weeks be retroactively paid due to State rollout delays?
Yes. Almost all states have been late in rolling out the new MEUC program (due to focus on PUA and PEUC program extensions), but as they implement the MEUC updates any retroactive week payments that claimants are eligible will be paid in full. The back payment process will vary by state but will likely be made in one lump sum for eligible weeks.
Do I have to manually apply for the MEUC?
Yes. As this is a separate program and has specific documentation requirements (to prove self employment income) you will have to directly apply for this program. Your state UI agency will confirm you were receiving unemployment benefits from eligible programs other than Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
When Will I get the Extra $100 Payment?
State UI agencies are responsible for administering this payment and if they choose to make the “mixed earner” benefit payment they will also have to determine eligibility (subject to DOL guidelines). I will continually update the following table to track which states are making this payment and when you can expect to start processing payments. Feel free to leave a comment if your state has started making payments and I will update.
$100 MEUC (Mixed Earner) Extra PUA Unemployment State Tracker
(Click state link for details)
|Enrolled in $100 MEUC Program?||$100 MEUC Payment Start Date|
|California||Ended in March 2021||No Longer Enrolled in Program|
|District of Columbia||Y||Paying Now|
|Georgia||Y||Available until June 27, 2021|
|Idaho||N||Did Not Enroll in Program|
|Mississippi||N||Did Not Enroll in Program|
|New Hampshire||Y||Now Active|
|New Jersey||Y||Not Started|
|New Mexico||Y||Not Started|
|New York||Y||Paying Now|
|North Carolina||Y||Not Started|
|North Dakota||Y||Not Started|
|Rhode Island||Y||Now Active|
|South Carolina||Y||Not Started|
|South Dakota||N||Did Not Enroll in Program|
|Virginia||Y||From April 26, 2021|
|West Virginia||Y||Now Active|
|Wisconsin||Y||Expected to start May 19th|
State Notifications for Mixed Earner Payments
States who opt into the MEUC program are legally required to notify potential UI claimants about the program. You will get a notice for claimant action that provides instructions on how to apply for the program and key documentation you will need. I would still recommend you check your state UI website regularly (incase you don’t get the official notice) or bookmark this article as I will update the table above when states have the MEUC program up and running.