Guidance on Extensions to Enhanced Unemployment Insurance Programs (PUA, PEUC, FPUC and EB) to State Unemployment Agencies Issued By the Department of Labor

The US Department of Labor (DOL) has now issued formal guidelines to state unemployment agencies for paying out funds under the COVID relief bill extensions (Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020) to the PUA, PEUC and additional $300 FPUC program. This includes:

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Extension Updates

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. The law also strengthens documentation requirements to ensure PUA program integrity.

Duration of benefits: Initially limited to 39 weeks, minus any weeks of benefits that the individual received during the Pandemic Assistance Period from regular UC and EB. For weeks of unemployment beginning on or after December 27, 2020, the individual may receive an additional amount of PUA equal to 11 weeks of unemployment for an overall total equal to 50 weeks, minus any weeks that the individual received regular UC and EB during the Pandemic Assistance Period. If at any time while the individual is collecting PUA, the individual becomes eligible for regular UC, the individual must stop collecting PUA and file a new regular UC claim.

If someone’s benefit had expired prior to December 26th 2020 (end date of previous program) it does appear per the recent DOL guidelines that they won’t get retroactive benefits going back to when they exhausted their PUA claim balance. Instead will have to apply or reactivate their claim with their state UI agency. This process will vary from state to state and instructions will soon be issued by state UI agencies per guidance (see state specific UI information here). They will only start getting paid for extended PUA from December 27, 2020 to March 14th, 2021 for remaining weeks. If they qualify for the PUA during these weeks then they will also get the extra $300 FPUC for those weeks.

If an individual previously exhausted the initial entitlement to PEUC (13 times the individual’s average WBA) and is currently collecting PUA during the PEUC extension, then state must stop the individual’s PUA claim and have the individual revert to collecting the additional amounts of PEUC.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) Extension Updates

If an individual has exhausted regular UC, the individual may then be eligible to receive PEUC under section was initially limited to 13 weeks of the individual’s average weekly benefit amount (WBA). For weeks of unemployment beginning on or after December 27, 2020 the individual may receive an additional amount of PEUC equal to 11 weeks. The overall total equal to 24 weeks of the individuals WBA.

There are certain circumstances under which an individual who is collecting PEUC and becomes eligible for a new benefit year of regular UC may be able to continue collecting PEUC instead of filing the new regular UC claim.

If an individual previously exhausted the initial entitlement to PEUC (13 times the individual’s average WBA) and
is currently collecting EB at the time the additional PEUC amount being available, the individual must exhaust the existing EB entitlement before reverting back to collect the additional amount of PEUC.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program (FPUC) Reinstatement

which expired July 31, 2020, is reauthorized and modified to provide $300 per week to supplement benefits for weeks of unemployment beginning after December 26, 2020, and ending on or before March 14, 2021. FPUC is not payable retroactively 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 December 26, 2020.

Extended Benefits (EB). If the individual exhausts PEUC and the state has triggered “on” to EB due to passing the state’s high unemployment threshold, the individual may then be eligible to receive EB during the applicable EB period. If at any time while the individual is collecting EB, the individual becomes eligible for regular UC, the individual must stop collecting EB and file a new regular UC claim.

The DOL will be releasing more information on program-specific Unemployment Insurance Programs to states that will provide, in further detail, legal and programmatic guidance on certain provisions of the law. I will update as more information comes to hand.

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22 thoughts on “Guidance on Extensions to Enhanced Unemployment Insurance Programs (PUA, PEUC, FPUC and EB) to State Unemployment Agencies Issued By the Department of Labor”

  1. Hi Andy.
    My name is Tristany. I live in New Bedford, Massachusetts. This city was in rough shape prior to COVID, with a housing shortage and rents higher than the value of the unit.
    Now the large companies are coming in and buying up everything. There’s signs everywhere saying “We buy homes for cash” That put a huge damper on my hope to rent to own.
    At this point, I can’t think about buying groceries so that’s no longer the issue but the higher rent expectancy is.
    I’m an independent contractor, and my business came to an immediate stop when COVID hit and as hard as I tried to take the time, while receiving PUA, to discover a way to take my business and transition it into a successful online business, I could find a path that made sense in my mind. I read so many articles and took so many online classes regarding EVERYTHING that had to do with online marketing and website development, Google My Business, and many, many others, I can’t count.
    I have exhausted all of my savings. I have credit card bills that I just cannot but want to pay. My credit score went from a 520 to a 700 in 2020-2021, but in the past few months I’ve maxed all 7 of my credit cards. Prior to 2020, I was unable to qualify for a secured credit card, so I’m just sitting, feeling helpless, as my life, my dreams and everything else is falling apart around me.
    I know that I should go get a job, but it’s not that simple for me. I haven’t had a job outside of my house in over 10 years because I cannot leave my house. It’s gotten worse since the pandemic! I actually spend most of my life, in my bedroom either on my phone looking for answers or on the computer trying to figure out how to get my website up. (Something I’ve been struggling with for 2+ yrs)
    All of that to ask, Is there any help coming up for those like me? I no longer keep up with the financial packages the President signs because since he’s been in office, they’ve been ridiculous and offer little to no assistance that would be available for me. Do you know, should I be watching for something? Has anything happened since September 6,2021 when the ground beneath me fell?
    I’m so sorry that this is so long. I’m desperate, like so many others being overlooked.

  2. I have been receiving PUA since June of 2020, owned a small cleaning business and cleaned primarily vacation beach rentals. I am getting it under being self-employed, and had to prove my self-employment. I sent in my 2019 tax return and my 2020 tax return (which showed a loss of -$1700, obviously due to the pandemic) and also sent in a letter from one of my clients showing what they had paid me, and even a letter asking if i had turned in the appropriate information to establish proof of self – employment. Now i just got a letter saying I have been denied PUA and must pay back over $8000…..why? What did I do wrong??

  3. I have not received any payment since June 3, 2021. I have been on pua since last year and my pua benefits suddenly stopped on June 3, 2021. How can I get this taken care of. I can’t get through to anyone at VEC. I don’t know what to do. Someone please help me…

  4. I had been waiting on a answer for my weeks I didn’t receive any pay for the time I was out of work, March, 15, 2020, U.S shut down, till July 31. I don’t think it’s fair because if covid hadn’t hit, I would have been working. It’s wasn’t my fault. If it’s wasn’t for my mom, I wouldn’t have made it. I need my money. Thanks for listening. Please respond.

  5. I filed back in January and been filing my weekly benefits and still no payment but I received a debit card a few days ago and nobody has reached out to me to let me know if I need to do something that I missed to start receiving any benefits

  6. I got regular unemployment from the state of kansas beginning the first week of July 2020, and when that ended I went on peuc. So I still have peuc available and should still qualify for the new 11 weeks and the extra 300. Is that correct? Will I have to reapply?

  7. Hello!
    My daughter needs help! She was released from her retail job and was given the paperwork to file for unemployment. She has submitted the paperwork and has heard back from UI stating that they do not have enough information to verify her id. After calling the numbers listed and searching online, with no luck, I found your site.
    Do you have any info on what she can do next.
    Thank you.

  8. I live in Georgia my PUA andUI benefits have been exhausted. what action do I need to take to receive the $300 11 week extension?

  9. Dear Andy:
    I’ve been reading and analyzing all articles against other writers come to find a black hole for many that is not specific. It pertains to those PEUC exhaustees week ending effective December 26th 2020 that do not qualify for EB in some states that triggered “on” extensions. Nothing specifies whether those that fall under that scenario would revert back to the 11 week extension under PEUC where they originated, since the EB actually transition never took place because they did not qualify. I am being told from the first representative from the state of Illinois that I do not qualify for PEUC because I dont qualify for the EB extension. Could you please clarify? Thank you

  10. Thank you Andy. I look forward to updates as to when this program starts or started. Some of us got $300.00 last week and not sure if it was week#6 of LWA or the newest FPUC already rolled out.

  11. Here in Ohio they said the unemployment rate drop below the threshold for what they consider a pandemic so we didn’t get our last 2 weeks of Pua unemployment for Dec 13 and the following week. Since Ohio isn’t at that threshold are we not going to get the new Pua unemployment money? And I tried to continue my weekly certification on the Ohio Pua website and theyre not offering me an option to do my weekly certification so where do I certify?

  12. How can they continue to put us all off. “Be paitent”
    Reg UI doesn’t even answer their phones and PUA is just a put off when you talk to them.
    Been waiting for my appeal to happen. Been since August.
    In commets says they’ve paid me 1900, yet to see it.

  13. ANDY,
    Just one quick question. With this new information provided by you today(jan 1) I’m guessing now contradictory to what we thought previously from our correspondence, if I exhausted all my benefits previously(about a month ago for me), the additional 11 weeks of peuc will begin for the weeks starting after dec 26 and not from the time i exhausted my benefits with the state “catching up” as you put it from the time I exhausted my benefits a month ago. I hope I’m reading what you wrote today as correct and hope that’s the case as if so I would get the $300(fpuc) on top of my peuc for all 11 weeks of my added peuc as opposed to losing weeks of fpuc(300) if they went retro with the peuc from the time my benefits were exhausted as we previously thought per our correspondence. Your help in clarifying this and if I’m correct would be greatly appreciated my dear friend!!
    God bless you, stay safe, and cant thank you enough for everything!! Your a wonderful human being!!

    • Hey John – Yes, it does appear the DOLs new guidelines indicate that the extended benefits will only be paid from Dec 27th (or week ending Jan 2nd, 2021) and that any missed weeks in December won’t be retroactively caught up. Which is a shame. But the $300 FPUC was only available from December 27th. So you should get that payment along with PEUC from the 27th. I’ll update articles.

      • ANDY,
        Just wanted to thank you very much for your response back to me and the clarification. I appreciate it more than you know!! Your the best and an absolute lifeline to me and so many others. Thanks for your kindness!!

      • ANDY,
        HOPE your safe and well my friend! Thanks again for everything you do my friend!
        Just need your expertise opinion one last time. I have exhausted every benefit available here in illinois(regular Ui, peuc(13 weeks) and extended benefits ran out over a month ago. I know as we’ve discussed previously I should still be eligible for the 11 additional weeks of peuc and the $300 fpuc just passed. My question is that our state unemployment(ides) site hasnt given out any info or directions other than saying that the $300 fpuc is available now for people with active claims and peuc available for people with active claims but nothing is mentioned on their site or social media about what to do for those of us who have already exhausted our balances and benefits and how to go about getting eligible for these added benefits. I know according to your one article you say to file a new claim, but there has been no directive or guidance from our state unemployment office(ides) to do that or how to even do that. Should I be worried in your opinion? Or should I just wait longer? Or on their phone system where it says to reopen your claim should I do that even though ides has stated no where that I should be doing that or given out any information to those of us who have already exhausted our benefits. Your advice would be greatly appreciated my friend!!!

  14. I haven’t received my pua since December 2 that was my last time but i been filing every week after and still no payment


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