Will I Automatically Get The New Unemployment Benefits Extension for PEUC and PUA and Extra $300 Weekly Stimulus Payment With a Remaining or Exhausted Claim Balance

The short answer to the title of this article is Maybe. But like the earlier extensions there are some constraints to be aware of under the September 2021 unemployment extensions funded under $1.9 trillion Biden Stimulus package. The final bill funded another 25 weeks of unemployment benefit extensions for millions of jobless Americans via the main enhanced unemployment programs with key dates shown in the table below.

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Will I need to reapply for these benefits or are they automatically applied?

Like earlier extensions this will vary on state-by-state basis and on your claim status. Those who have an active claim or weeks remaining in their UI balance as of March 14th, 2021 should be able to keep certifying and have the extended weeks automatically added to their account. Those who had exhausted their benefits or had a lapse in their benefits (e.g. returned to work temporarily) will likely have to wait for notification from their state to confirm if extensions will be applied automatically or if they will require some sort of action to reactivate or reopen their claim. In either situation claimants will need to wait for their state to update their UI systems to program for the latest extension, which could be a slow process. Any missed payments due to state rollout delays will be retroactively caught up.

Once claimants start getting paid under an existing state or federally funded enhanced UI program, they also then get the $300 weekly supplementary payment (FPUC program). You can see this article for specific situations as to whether a claimant needs to take action or not to get the extended benefits.

Key Dates for PEUC, PUA and FPUC 2021 Extensions

Enhanced Unemployment ProgramMax Weeks Available in ProgramProgram Effective Start Date (limited to maximum weeks available under program)Program End Date (no new claims after this)
PUA Program79 (39 + 11 + 29*)January 27, 2020Sep 6th, 2021
PEUC Program49 (13 + 11 + 29*) March 28, 2020Sep 6th, 2021
$300 FPUC25March 14, 2021Sep 6th, 2021
$100 Mixed Earner Payment (Optional)25March 14, 2021Sep 6th, 2021
*Note - While the ARP bill noted that 29 weeks were included in the latest extension, in reality only 25 weeks are available in the coverage period that spans the week ending March 20th to September 4th.

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$900 billion COVID stimulus bill funding extensions

There are some constraints to be aware of in the recently approved $900 billion stimulus bill unemployment benefits extension as discussed below. Just to recap the legislation passed under the new stimulus bill includes the following unemployment benefits: Eleven more weeks of benefits under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. It also includes a $300 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) per week supplemental payment to anyone receiving unemployment benefits from any other unemployment program during the coverage period.

Under the PEUC program states can now pay up to 24 weeks of additional unemployment benefits to individuals who have qualified for, but exhausted regular state unemployment compensation (UC). They must also be able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work assuming no Coronavirus/COVID-19 restrictions. An individual is deemed to have exhausted benefits (per DOL guidance) when no further UC payments can be made under any federal or state law because the individual has received all available regular UC based on employment or wages during such individual’s base period; or the individual’s right to such regular UC has been terminated by reason of the expiration.

PUA provides UI benefits to gig workers and others not traditionally eligible for them. Under the law, the end of the period of applicability for the PUA program extends to those weeks of unemployment ending on or before March 14, 2021. For individuals on PUA who have not exhausted their benefit eligibility of up to 50 weeks, the program also provides for continuing benefits for eligible individuals for weeks of unemployment through April 5, 2021.

PUA and PEUC was initially only payable up to the week of unemployment ending before December 31, 2020 (so the last week would be week ending Dec 26th or Dec 27th), but has now been extended under the recent COVID relief bill to March 14th, 2021. Existing claimants will have until the week beginning April 5th, 2021 to exhaust any remaining balances.

You can also see this recent Video update on if Extensions are automatic or a new/reactivated claim is needed

Will I Need to Reapply for these benefits or are they automatically applied?

This will depend on state by state basis, but those who have an active claim or have exhausted their benefits will be eligible for the enhanced unemployment benefits discussed above. State UI agencies are responsible for reaching out but given the massive spike in claims this is likely to be a slow process. Some states are automatically extending benefits (even without ongoing certification) for those whose claims have a remaining balance or claims that have recently expired due to delays in passing the stimulus legislation. For those who have not claimed UI or had a claim expire several months ago, then you will likely have to file a new claim or reactivate your existing claim (will vary on a state by state basis). You can see this article for specific situations as to whether a claimant needs to take action or not to get the extended benefits. The table below shows key dates for the extended programs.

States have now also received detailed federal guidance (via the Department of Labor) on the implementation of the stimulus-law extensions for existing UI beneficiaries. Most states like New York, Florida and California have told people who are already collecting unemployment benefits and qualify for the PEUC or PUA extension that they don’t need to reapply to receive the additional $300 FPUC payment.

Key Dates for PEUC, PUA and FPUC Programs

Enhanced Unemployment ProgramMax Weeks Available in ProgramProgram Effective Start Date (limited to maximum weeks available under program)Program End Date (no new claims after this)Payment End Date for Remaining Weeks
PUA Claims filed on or before Dec 27, 2020 (e.g. Active Claimant, getting UI benefits) 50 (39 + 11)If active agreement in place, January 27, 2020March 14, 2021April 10, 2021
PUA Claims filed after Dec 27, 2020 (e.g. New Claimants)14 (3 + 11)If agreement in place, December 1,2020 (claim effective December 6, 2020)March 14, 2021April 10, 2021
PEUC24 (13 + 11) Date of agreement - effective March 28, 2020March 14, 2021April 10, 2021
$300 FPUC11December 27th, 2020March 14, 2021N/A
$100 Mixed Earner Payment (Optional)11December 27th, 2020March 14, 2021N/A

Notes to table:
1. Table does not include extended state benefits which could mean additional weeks of PUA in certain states (e.g California which includes up to 57 weeks)
2. You can only get PUA if you don't qualify for regular UI or PEUC, so those weeks need to be excluded from maximum weeks.
3. New Claimants or those who had exhausted benefits have to apply and get their claim approved for back dating to December 1st. Otherwise they only get the new 11 week maximum under the extension funding from December 27th, 2020

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Note – Under current rules if you stop certifying for continued unemployment benefits, even for one week, your Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim becomes inactive. You must reopen your claim to request benefit payments. You can generally reopen your claim if it was filed within the last 52 weeks. If your benefit year has ended, you must file a new claim.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Extended State Benefits

Independent contractors, freelancers and gig workers who wouldn’t have qualified for claims before will be able to get the same UI benefits as those who qualify for the PEUC program. This act has loosened rules and eligibility considerably and includes:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – Provides at least 50 weeks of benefits for freelance, gig and contract workers who would normally NOT have been eligible for state unemployment programs. Workers who get PUA are not concurrently eligible for PEUC or Extended State Unemployment benefits. Unemployment claims for PUA will be backdated and paid retroactively to the first week during the PUA period in which an employee was unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable and unavailable to work due to COVID-19
  • Extended State Unemployment Benefits (EB)— Provides an additional 13 additional weeks of benefits when a state is experiencing high unemployment. Some states have also enacted a voluntary program to pay up to 7 additional weeks (for a total of 20 weeks maximum) during periods of extremely high unemployment. Note that extended state benefits are only available after people have collected all regular Unemployment Insurance benefits as well as any PEUC benefits they were eligible for. But if the unemployment rates drops below high unemployment thresholds in a state, the EB benefit coverage weeks may drop or cease. See the current levels of EB benefits available by state.

Many applicants with exhausted claims are getting rejected when applying for additional UIC. In this situation state agencies are asking claimants to be patient and re-apply when their systems are updated. States are also obligated to reach out to applicants eligible under the new programs, but per the information above they are so far backlogged that this may take several weeks. For those already on unemployment benefits but close to exhausting their claim period, you will just have to wait and hope your state updates is systems to automatically extend your unemployment benefit coverage.

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755 thoughts on “Will I Automatically Get The New Unemployment Benefits Extension for PEUC and PUA and Extra $300 Weekly Stimulus Payment With a Remaining or Exhausted Claim Balance”

  1. I used the last of 13 week fed claim on 5/01/2021 .It says i have zero balance now and that my claim doesn’t expire until November 11th of 2021 . I cant file another claim .After 6 plus hours on phone i was told there is nothing left .I am saleing my tv and furniture and plan to live in my car .I have no other choice .Because i am old not even fast food places will hire me .Nobody wants a 60 year old person . I was told to go to downtown as there is an encampment by the freeway . That id be safer rather than by myself and that food is available at rescue mission for breakfast and dinner .

    Reply
  2. I have not received no benefits from July 19 2020 to June 3 2021 and I’m unemployed got disallowed on the regular unemployment because I didn’t make enough earnings in 2020 went back to pua still didn’t here anything my pua ex spires on July 17 2021 pua would haved to pay me for an whole year when it expires on July 17 2021

    Reply
    • Still not received no benefits from July 19 2020 to June 9 2021 still no payments this is through pua unemployment my pua exspires on July 17 2021 didn’t exhaust none of my benefits

      Reply
      • I live in Ohio and I also appeal on March 8 2021 for pua unemployment talking about I’m not unemployed because of COVID 19 there not looking at my weeks that I claimed there looking at the mistake I made at the beginning of the application I never went through this with the regular unemployment here it is June 9 2021 still not heard anything far as the appeal it’s been 3 months

        Reply
  3. I live in Illinois also same situation. Exhausted benefits no balance but with the new law we should get the additional weeks. I have certified 8 weeks now waiting. I got a call from unemployment office finally no real answers she just said ya you exhausted your funds you have had 2 extensions and something about no quarterly balance. Which makes no sense of course my funds are empty I have not worked in over a year but the new law adds funds I called my state rep in my district. He got hold them and ides will be reaching out to me any day. They need to reopen / reapply new claim or put you in different program to get you going. It’s a complete disaster But call your local state rep. Their office will help you

    Reply
  4. I’m in tenn I exausted my bennifits march 14 2021 I’ve been on unemployment since March 2020 now nothing on my end has changed I’ve been waiting to be approved for the peuc emergency ext I’ve certified for 8 weeks now the date is may 2 2021 my case says under review what going on I’m now homeless no gas no money I’m seriously loosing my mind also they started giving the extra emergency 300 a week bennifits as of march 27 2021 I call but never get to talk it rings for an hour then hangs up automatically I’m do stressed I don’t want to live anymore it’s that bad.

    Reply
    • I don’t know you buddy and sure can’t help with unemployment (as i surely need answers myself).. but trust me I feel ya, but “NOT living”anymore is NOT an option. You got this. #NoCheckinOut

      Reply
  5. Mine claim excusted in illinois on march 24 no news or when they system will be updated hut I will try to keep in contact with the local office untill I get a answer any help please?!

    Reply
    • I live in Illinois also same situation. Exhausted benefits no balance but with the new law we should get the additional weeks. I have certified 8 weeks now waiting. I got a call from call cemetery finally no answers she just said ya you exhausted your fund period. So I called my state rep in my district. He got hold them and ides will be reaching out to me any day. They need to reopen / reapply nee claim to get you going. It’s a complete disaster But call your local state rep. Their office will help you

      Reply
  6. Hi Thank you for useful posting.
    My benefit year says “on extension” and my edd is exhausted as $0 claim amount on 3/14/21.
    Do I need to reapply or automatically extend?
    I am CA

    Reply
    • I called CA EDD 3 weeks ago right after my claim went down to 0 (I was on Fed-Ed), and I’ve been told to wait as everything goes automatically so there’s no need for a new claim.
      Yesterday I called again and they told me I’ve received the wrong information and that she’ll transfer me to Tier 2 in order to file a new claim over the phone. The tier 2 operator told me that I don’t necessarily need to file a new claim, meaning: If I’ll file a new claim, my weekly benefit will be lower, instead of not filing a new claim and wait for my account to get replenish automatically and still receiving the same weekly benefits probably in a week or two.
      Trust me, I’m as much confused as you are!
      Side note, at the beginning of March while I was on Fed-Ed extension my payment was on pending because I hit one year of benefits and I had to call them and let them figure out my eligibility for a new claim or continuing de Fed-Ed. Since I was not eligible for a new claim they unblocked the remaining Fed-ed.

      Reply
  7. I’m in Alabama, my year end date is April 4th, 2021, I was on peuc. Just filed my last week last night. Will I have to refile a new claim the beginning of April? Or can you even get it if you can’t get anymore unemployment. Haven’t worked since April 6th of 2020. Do you have to have enough quarters in to be able to get this $300.00 or is it automatically added without starting a new claim?

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    • Mine expired March 27th,2021. Last week it had added it to mine this week everything is 0 and I can’t refile? In Alabama. You gave any luck? Will it just pick back up?

      Reply
    • You get the 300$ if you were receiving 100$ a week or more on UI, keep filling weekly by automated phone or Internet. Even if you’re funds were exhausted you will still get the regular UI payment plus 300$

      Reply

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