Enhanced 2020 Unemployment Insurance Benefit Payments and 2021 Extensions to Tackle Coronavirus Fallout – $300 FPUC, PEUC and PUA


This article was last updated on January 23

Congress had passed the CAA which includes provisions that include enhanced unemployment benefit extensions and an additional $300 weekly supplementary payment. The new funding measures have extended PUA and PEUC programs by another 11 weeks allowing those with existing balances to rollover remaining weeks and additional weeks for those who have exhausted their UI benefit claims. See this state payout tracker for how payment is progressing on the extended benefit period.

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[September 2020 update] All states have implemented the federally funded PUA, PEUC and FPUC programs to supplement their state unemployment programs. While the roll-out has been less than stellar and many at still struggling to even get more than one UIC payment, millions of jobless American are relying on the supplementary unemployment benefits and broader coverage to make ends meet. One in particular is the $600 FPUC program, which is set to expire at the end of July 2020. There have been several ideas to extend the program, but Congress is mired in party line political debates and needs to act much faster to extend the $600 payment before it expires or provide an alternative offering that supports those who have no jobs due to a resurgence of COVID while also encouraging people to go back-to-work.

I’ll post updates as they come through, but the good news is the retroactive/back-payments are being made for those eligible for payments in weeks they were unemployed and that thanks to the PUA program, existing state UI benefits have been made available to the end of the year. Also for those still dealing with issues around getting their unemployment checks, here are some alternative ways to get in contact with your local state UI agency.

[Updated with the final CARES act provisions] Under the recently enacted $2 trillion Coronavirus stimulus bill (CARES act) unemployment insurance coverage will be extended and supplemented as follows:

  • Under an existing provision known as the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) state-level unemployment insurance will be extended by an additional 13 weeks thanks to federal funding under the CARE stimulus bill. So state unemployment maximum benefits that normally last 26 weeks for example, would now last up-to 39 weeks. The extended benefits will last through Dec. 31, 2020 and also allow those who have exhausted their regular state benefits to get an additional 13 weeks of benefits.
  • Under Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) provisions an additional payment of $600 per week on top of the current and extended regular state UI benefits will be provided through to July 31, 2020.
  • Under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provision eligibility rules for claiming unemployment benefits and compensation have also been expanded to cover more workers, including contractors, freelance/“gig” workers and those who are self-employed. You will have to first apply for regular state UI, and be ineligible or denied for that, before being eligible for the PUA program. This will also cover jobless Americans who qualify for at least 39 weeks.

The extra $600 FPUC funded boost in particular is nearly double the current UI maximum payment in many states (see state level maximums) so has created some controversy whereby some lower income workers may get more via unemployment than through their normal wages.

When will the $600 Unemployment Benefit Payment Start?

The $600 benefit payment is now being paid by all states and will generally be paid with your standard state unemployment benefit. You can see the table below for payment dates by states, including links to more information. Note that if you have already exhausted your current state UI benefits, you will still be eligible for this additional/extra temporary benefit boost as it is federally funded under the CARES stimulus bill.

Most state unemployment agencies and labor departments have implemented the enhanced unemployment provisions under guidance from the Federal Department of Labor (DOL). However antiquated state unemployment filing systems and websites have not been easy to update in such a short duration, meaning that claimants have faced long wait times and failures in being able to file a claim. If you already receive UI benefits you will automatically be added to the new stimulus programs if eligible and receive these payments as you currently do. Others or newly unemployed will need to (re-)apply for the UI payments.

Self-employed, independent contractors and nonprofit employees, or those that are otherwise ineligible for state UI benefits or those who have exhausted state and federal benefits may be eligible for enhanced benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Individuals who have the ability to telework and receive pay or individuals who are receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits will not qualify for the PUA benefits.

Will I get the full $600? The $600 is added to whatever amount you are currently getting, whether it’s the minimum or the maximum. So for example even if you are only getting $50 a week in unemployment benefits today you will still get the full $600 through the next four months which is mandated in the CARES bill. This means those only getting partial UIC benefits (at least $1) like part time workers earning below the maximum weekly benefit amount for their state will be eligible for this supplemental payment till July 31st 2020.

Also note that the $600 is paid retroactively. Payments are effective starting with the week ending 4/5/20. So, if it takes your state UI agency until mid-April to actually start the payments, they will be retroactive back to 4/5/20. The $600 only applies to those who are receiving unemployment benefits. If your state said that you don’t qualify for UI, then you do not get the $600 either. The bill also waived the 7 day waiting period for new claims. So you can file as soon as you get laid off or lose income as a self employed person.

(Click State For Details)
PUA State Contact NumberPaying Original 39 weeks (CARES)?Paying 11-Week 2021 Extension?
District of ColumbiaYY
New HampshireY
New JerseyNorth Jersey: 201-601-4100
Central Jersey: 732-761-2020
Southern Jersey: 856-507-2340
New MexicoYY
New York1-833-491-0632
1-833-324-0366 (to certify)
North CarolinaYY
North DakotaY
Puerto RicoY
Rhode IslandYY
South CarolinaY
South DakotaY
Virginia1-866-832-2363 YY
West VirginiaY

[April 2020 update] With over 2.25 unemployment claims filed in the last week along, America is facing not only a health crisis, but a Jobs one as well.

The recently passed Families First Cronavirus Response Act has resulted in several economic stimulus measures, once of which is Enhanced unemployment benefits. The bill provides $1 billion in 2020 for emergency grants to states for activities related to processing and paying unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

$500 million of the additional funding would be used to provide immediate additional funding to all states for staffing, technology, systems, and other administrative costs, so long as they met basic requirements about ensuring access to earned benefits for eligible workers.

How unemployment insurance works and how to qualify

It mainly depends on where you live because states administer the Unemployment insurance program. But often get help, per the bill discussed above, from the federal government to bolster the state’s UI program and availability of benefits.

Eligibility and benefits are generally calculated as a percentage of your income over the past year, up to a certain maximum. The benefits or UI payment is between 14 and 26 weeks, but can be extended by supporting federal funds.

States would be required to report on the share of eligible individuals who received UI benefits and the state’s efforts to ensure access within one year of receiving the funding. The funding would be distributed in the same proportions as regular UI administrative funding provided through annual appropriations.

The remaining $500 million would be reserved for emergency grants to states which experienced at least a 10 percent increase in unemployment. Those states would be eligible to receive an additional grant, in the same amount as the initial grant, to assist with costs related to the unemployment spike, and would also be required to take steps to temporarily ease eligibility requirements that might be limiting access to UI during the COVID-19 outbreak, like work search requirements, required waiting periods, and requirements to increase employer UI taxes if they have high layoff rates.

298 thoughts on “Enhanced 2020 Unemployment Insurance Benefit Payments and 2021 Extensions to Tackle Coronavirus Fallout – $300 FPUC, PEUC and PUA

  1. I’ve been filing for PUA benefits in AZ as of the week ending 12/12/2020, even though I’ve been unemployed before that. What is the WBA range for AZ, and will I be able to get the $600 retroactively?

  2. My benefits ran out October 8th 2020, my claim has gone to zero. Early January I went to claim and it allowed me to claim back weeks however it put a hold on my account. I spoke with someone yesterday who requested the hold be taken off, she had explained to me that as of October I exhausted my benefits and extensions, she couldn’t tell me if I am eligible for the 13 week extension because the bill says if benefits expired on or after December 26th. I asked her so does that mean I might and might not and she said yes. My question is with my circumstances will I receive the extension?

  3. I live in Illinois and as of Dec.20th, 2020, I had exhausted all my PUA benefits. Then Trump signed the new bill but now when I log in to the PUA website to certify, I do not see the option to certify anymore. Does anybody know what I should do? I left a callback number to ides but that could take weeks and in the meantime I am unable to certify for benefits.

  4. I live in Arkansas and I have been getting Pua I was able to file last Sunday but now I’m unable to but I see updated on 12/31/20 & approved so do u know the reason I was unable to file today

  5. Hello,
    I’m extremely confused . I live in Ca.

    When I log in to my UI online it says :
    Claim Expired

    Your claim has expired and benefits are no longer payable on this claim for weeks ending after 12/31/2020. If you are still unemployed or partially unemployed then you must file a new claim. Start filing a new claim now.
    On 12/22 I received an email through UI online and it said :
    The following messages pertain to your certification for the week ending date(s) mentioned above:
    Thank you,
    Employment Development Department
    State of California
    Do I click the link to start a mew claim or do I do nothing ?!
    Please help

  6. I am in Kentucky, I was on PUA, I exhausted my 39 weeks and benefits stopped on Dec.4,2020. My claim was closed because benefits were exhausted. Now that they have passed the bill and extension will I need to file a new claim, or will the system automatically update when the funds become available. I have been asking this questions for weeks now and cannot get a substantial answer. Our state never gives unemployment updates. Today is December 30,2020 at 10:19pm when I wrote this comment. Please someone do you know this answer. Last question in June I had to verify my income to prove I qualified for PUA, under this new bill will I need to verify again, or will it still be on file from June? Thank you for the time. I hope everyone stays safe and things get better for everyone.

    1. Yes I too am wondering the exact same thing!!! Please let me know if you, or anyone else for that matter, hears anything. Thanks and best of luck to you all!!!

    2. I am in Kentucky as well and I exhausted my benefits on December 7th. When I checked my account summary it directed me to apply again just a few questions not like the first application. I already received a letter saying I was denied for regular Unemployment so I’m praying I get PUA again. I read somewhere that if you exhausted your benefits in December you should be picked back up to receive them again. I pray we do. I reapplied the 18th and got my first letter last week so hopefully I’ll get some good news soon. I’m a substitute teacher so no school in person means no work for me.

  7. I exhausted my peuc the first week of December and would have been eligible for EB but they took that program away in my state so with the new bill will my peuc restart or I will only get the 300

  8. So im in Toledo Ohio.. I have 7 weeks left of payments but i didnt receive my payment for the week ending 12/22/2020.. Ive file for this week on yesterday and from the looks of it its not posting in my account as usual…. My bills are a week pass due abd i really nees my payments… Help me please

    1. I recieved the following in an email at the beginning of Dec. However, now that the new stimulus pkg has been signed it seems, to me, the 7 weeks will be paid in retro & moving forward. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
      Dear Ohioan,
      We are writing with important information about your Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. As you may know, when Ohio was in a “High Unemployment Period,” as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor, an additional 7 weeks of PUA benefits were available for those eligible.Because Ohio’s October unemployment rate dropped significantly, the state is no longer in a High Unemployment Period. As a result, after the week ending December 12, 2020, these additional 7 weeks of PUA will no longer be available.Please know that if you remain unemployed on December 12, and you have not yet claimed the maximum 39 weeks of PUA benefits, you may continue to file weekly claims for benefits through December 26, 2020.

  9. I filed my weekly claim today on my info page it says for the weeks I still have 12 weeks left do I still get my claims? Or a better way to ask a question do I keep getting payments until December 31?

    1. If its PUA that you still have a balance of, you’ll continue to recieve that until you run out as well as the FPUC $300.00 that was just signed into law yesterday. Then we hen the PUA balance is gone then you left with $300.00. Thats how they’re doing it in Mass

  10. Andy many of us have the same query. Our unemployment ended like mine dec 12 so does the pua and peuc extensions apply? I say they do but am not certain. What say you?

    1. I have updated article to answer. At this stage, under the current bill Congress has approved you will get 11 more weeks of coverage. These will be retroactive to when you ran out of benefits and will be paid retroactively. At this stage President Trump has not signed the COVID relief bill that includes these extensions.

      1. Hi Andy. Happy Holidays! Thank you for answering my question. Turns out it is what I thought (and hoped!)

  11. I aused m benifits 2nd week or dec Will i still revivre thé 300 weekly extended benifits

  12. Hello
    I received unemployment extension back in march because my benefit year ended April 13th 2020 but Cares act was signed on March 27th 2020 so I qualified for 13 week extension. After the 13 week extension was exhausted I qualified for 13 weeks of PUA. After the PUA was exhausted I was told I did not qualify for SEB an since October I have been out of BENEFITS. My question is, since I was qualified under CARES ACT do I qualify for this new stimulus exstention?

  13. I live in arkansas and have exhausted my 39 weeks of pua. Once they pass the extension tomorrow for 11 weeks will i continue to recieve benefits or will the extension not apply to me since i exhausted my benefits? Will it extend the number of weeks we can file benefits or only extend benefits for those who have not yet exhausted the 39 weeks ? Im so confused.

      1. Me too! I can’t seem to nail the answer to this out. My unemployment stopped Dec 12th due to exhaustion. So does the extension apply to me? Steph and Amy let me know if you find out. I’ll do the same. Thank you!

  14. If you’re on PEUC and this Covid relief bill passes, will the extra 11 weeks just be added to your current PEUC unemployment?

  15. If this Covid relief bill actually passes while you’re currently on PEUC, will the 11 weeks just be added on to your PEUC claim starting after December 26th?

  16. Well, I’ve been filing my pua every week, I’ve received 243.00 weekly.I did not receive it my pua week ending on, 11/07/2020 and week ending on 11/21/2020 . It’s like I get it every other week. I don’t understand why. I file on time online,with no problem. Again, I filed the week ending 12/12/2020, and did not receive any pua on 12/16/2020. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and it’s sad you can’t get to talk to someone about this situation, The lines are always busy. It’s telling me I’m in pay status, I have nothing to do right now, I haven’t seen any money for the following weeks. Will I receive any money for those weeks I filed and didn’t receive anything?

  17. Quick question I am in Tx, got approved for $81 wba and $486 UI. On TWC site under claim and payment status it only shows total amount of Reg benefits with UI and date deposited. However does not show the additional $600. The agent I spoke with, that fixed and helped get payment request in said I would receive. I am being mailed a check. Where can I find out total amount I am going to receive?

  18. I have exhausted my pua. I was a gig worker and I did not qualify for the regular unemployment. Now that I was able to get the pua, it has come to the end leaving stocked….My question is, how do I get it extended or renewed?

    If any of you got experience with the renewal or extension process in Pennsylvania, please help a friend like me.

    1. In PA there is no extension for PUA benefits. After your 39 weeks that is it unless Congress passes an extension of the PUA program.

  19. I still have 12 weeks left of PUA benefit’s in Wisconsin, does it mean that come the end of December my PUA benefit’s will end still?

    1. Yes. The program’s federal funding ends then. So no more payments after the end of the year.

      1. What becomes of the money left over on the weeks not claimed ? Does it go to benefit anyone still in need of financial help ? Or does the FED just absorb it for future use ? And if it is the latter, what is the point as the American people are in need right now ?

  20. There are roughly 6 weeks left of this year and I have 11 weeks left of PUA. Does the program just discontinue on December 30th or can remaining weeks be claimed ?

    1. You will only be able to claim and get paid till the end of the year unless Congree passes an extension.

  21. I live in ohio and i sent in to do my weekly and it said it was exhausted and the last i saw i got it until december so what do i do ??

    1. PUA only allows 39 payments under federal guidelines. Once you exhausted then thats it unless your specific State enacted state extended benefits and included PUA. Very few states have. If they did you would be able to claim till the end of the year….if not then we have to hope Congress passes an extension.

  22. I filed an regular unemployment claim in January but was denied. I only recently found out about the Pua claim. I was granted the claim… My question is if its possible to get back pay… N if so how much. Im on Missouri btw

    1. Contact your nearest congressman. It worked 4 me. Got 2 different lump sums 1 week apart. Send all back details. They should be able to help you

    2. David you should get all back pay. Man can I have a loan? You’ll be swimming in cash!!

  23. I live in Illinois and my 26wk benefits just ran out last week. It caught me completely off guard as I had heard so much about extensions. I didn’t know what happened until my check only covered one week of certifications and not two. A few days later I got a letter in the mail explaining that I ran out and suggesting I call the office to see if I should file in another state, I assume because most of my earnings are from out of state My claim time isn’t up until November. I keep hearing that the 13 wks peuc will start automatically but if so why was their a gap and why haven’t I heard anything from ides? On their call back list but that definitely doesn’t even guarantee I’ll speak to someone within 6 weeks. What kind of time frame is involved with an extension approval like mine? Any specific knowledge pertaining to the chaos of IDES and peuc? Please help with any info, I’m so stressed about this.

  24. I appiled for UI unemployment benefits and was denied so I was directed to apply for PUA benefits. Took 3 days and I checked my UI portal and it’s saying Program: PUA
    Gave me a (WBA) $149
    Start of claim 2/04/2020
    And (39) potential weeks. So I’m thinking I have been approved so I went back all the to start date and claimed every week all the way up to date. And I have no payments posted in my PUA payment summary. But other people have been claiming and they are getting their weekly payments. So I’m wondering if I was even approved? Or what I need to do to get paid for the weeks I have claimed

    1. You are approved and you money is on its way. You will receive a depot card in the mail. I’ve heard that the day you certified for back benefits is the day the Bank of America shipped your debit card.
      It take roughly 7-10 days after you first certified.
      You’ve done everything you’re supposed to your card will arrive with all your back pay it should be close to $20,000.

      Keeps checking the mail. Your card will arrive any day! *After your card arrives makes sure you certify for benefits every two weeks inorder to continue receiving deposits every 2 week until the end of the year! Congratulations!

  25. I’ve been a self-employed veterinarian who does house calls for dogs & cats. My practice came to a screeching halt in Feb/March & I applied as directed (DOL online) and received monthly PUA funds which were MUCH needed. I also collect Social Security (I’m 66 yrs old) but that monthly amount is meager and I’d planned to continue working until I was at least 70 to make ends meet. Now that the Federal PUA funds have been discontinued I’m probably below the poverty level. I am desperate to have the continued Federal funds for the foreseeable future. Whenever there’s a veterinarian job opening there are lots of vets in their 20s, 30, 40s & 50s who are more likely to be hired than I am. I am the Poster Child for “Who Needs Federal PUA” due to their place of employment (client’s homes) being closed. I’m in the Athens, GA, area.

    1. I am sorry to hear about your situation, but from your description about your work losses, seems to me you NEED to apply for PUA (program beginning date February 4th 2020 to December 26th 2020) Depending what state you live in you can collect for 13 upto 20 weeks (Texas 20weeks extension) after December 26th
      In short PUA (,Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) is expanded eligibility unemployment program- so basically it still is an active program APPLY
      Make sure you turn in all documents such as yearly taxes, proof of loss income such as receipts from your job services, so you won’t get stuck on a “pending account”
      Good luck, I hope everything works out

  26. Filed May24th and still no decision as of Aug.8th in TN.Calls are either dropped,ignored ,or sent to voicemail thats never returned.Same with emails,and their live chat is a joke.Guess I’m just out of luck.

  27. Hi. I’m collecting PUA here in Pa. I am self employed and haven’t worked since March. I was able to get back pay from mid March to present. Now that the stimulus is ending on July 31st what do I need to do to keep collecting PUA?

    1. You continue to certify every week till you get your 39th payment. You would continue weekly payments at your benefit rate.

  28. I am in Georgia i received unemployment for 12 weeks now do i have to reapply to get the 13 more weeks extended.

  29. I received unemployment am am at 12 weeks do i have to reapply for the extension for 13 more weeks or what do i have to do next

  30. Hello. For Tennessee Unemployment. My BYE is approaching. I Still Have Funds Available. Do I need to reapply, or get an extension? And in the process do I still qualify for PUA while waiting to get reapproved? Thank you


  32. Question: I’m a single parent with my 5yo home from school for who knows how long. I used to be the head of Sales & Marketing for a conference center, but am anticipating it will be more than a year until it reopens. I was laid off in April and have been collecting NYS UI and PUA since. I am considering applying for SEAP to launch my own marketing business. I’ve received about 11 weeks of UI benefits so far, so the time is now. However, I’m concerned that it may be difficult for me to launch my business full-time by October (which is when I would hit 26 weeks of employment, usually the SEAP max), if I’m distance learning with my daughter full-time. If I am accepted into SEAP, would I be able to claim UI benefits through the end of the year with the CARES Act 13-week extension to 39 weeks? Or would I be kicked off of UI in October having exhausted the 26 weeks? Any insight would be a huge help!!

      1. PUA is essentially UI for those who do not qualify for regular UI. So you cannot get both at the same time.

  33. I’m trying to figure out how to file for the extra 13 weeks my claim was exhausted this week and I don’t know if it doesn’t automatically or do I have to just reapply again I am from New Jersey and I know each state has different laws but I’m just trying to see if anyone has an answer out there thank you

    1. No you do not have to reapply just continue to certify your weekly claim as you would normally

  34. My place of business did not have work due to closing for corona virus on March 16 2020. I had been working since September 2019. After filing a claim in June 2019. Because I reopened the claim I had in June I may not b eligibility for 13 week extension. Then when I go to the simulated questions on New Jersey unemployment site my scenario would have been to open a new claim this was not posted when I reopened a claim. Now I hav to wait for instructions from them can’t get to a live perso n. Also haven’t received my last 600. Fed

  35. Dont forget to fill out your weekly vouchers so you can get your check if you dont fill out your vouchers by sunday of every week you wont get paid!!

  36. I live in Memphis Tennessee my unemployment has exhausted how do I apply for extensions

      1. I am in Texas, as well. After dozens of calls I got TWC on the phone. Agent says, “ there may or may not be a gap in payments.” So helpful. Gap could be 6 weeks.
        Unless there is an obvious red flag, we should get payments through December 2020. THEN if Texas remains over 6% in unemployment rate, we get EB for 13 more weeks.

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