How Many Weeks of Benefits in the Latest Unemployment Extension Stimulus – 29 or 25?

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This article was last updated on March 16

[Updated following DOL Guidelines] We finally have an official answer to the question in this article and earlier discussion around how many weeks are actually in the ARP bill that funded the second extension of enhanced unemployment benefits. The Department of Labor (DOL) has acknowledged in program guidelines for state UI agencies implementing these extensions that there are only 25 weeks between the week ending March 13, 2021, and the last payable week of September 4, 2021. As such, eligible claimants will not have a way to exhaust their full 29 week PUA entitlement stated in the ARP bill before the program expires!

DOL Guidelines noting discrepancy with ARP 29 week extension vs actual duration of 25 weeks

So unless there is another extension or phase-out period added (as I had assumed earlier) people will miss out on 4 weeks of benefits.


This is a question that is confusing a lot of people, including me initially. It is law now that unemployment benefits have been extended to September 6th, 2021 per the latest stimulus bill (American Rescue Plan). The current enhanced benefit programs including PUA, PEUC and the $300 FPUC extensions expired on March 14th (existing claimants can use benefits till April 10th). So the latest bill essentially funds new/extra benefits from March 15th, 2021 to September 6th, 2021. Which is exactly 25 weeks! Look it up or calculate it yourself.

But the challenge is that the bill (HR1319) that was signed into law has the following clauses related to the PUA and PEUC programs which indicates these have been extended by “29 weeks” respectively. This is contradictory to the dates stated in the bill itself which reflect a 25 week duration. So what gives?

HR1319

So is it 29 weeks or 25 weeks of extended benefits?

The number of weeks between March 15th to September 6th is 25 weeks. Fact.

So 29 weeks in the bill, means that we have 4 weeks unaccounted for. Four weeks is a lot of extra money; if that is truly the duration of the latest round of unemployment benefit extensions. After doing some further analysis I concluded that the 4 weeks is just the phase-out period, like we had under the last extension via the CAA bill. It wasn’t explicit in this bill, but I suspect that because this is the likely last round of UI benefit extensions Congress wanted to give a little buffer for unused weeks for claimants with active balances.

If I am wrong, then 4 extra weeks of benefits will mean we go till October 2nd with this extension, which is not congruent with the bill’s applicability language. But great new for jobless workers getting these extra weeks.

Until the Department of Labor (DOL) issues final guidelines, we won’t know for sure. It’s also a reason many articles on this topic are not giving the specific weeks duration and only saying benefits are extended until September 6th. And states will have to get clear on the specific coverage duration before they can update systems to apply extended weeks for new, exhausted and existing claimants. But per the graphic below I am pretty confident the extension covers 25 weeks + 4 weeks of phase out, for a total of 29 weeks in the latest extension. Which matches up with the bill.

What say you?

4 thoughts on “How Many Weeks of Benefits in the Latest Unemployment Extension Stimulus – 29 or 25?

  1. Im still very very very confused on what this phaseout means. I understand what phaseout means in the english language but it means a period where there trying to get rid of something but there still keeping some of it intact but how does that apply for unemployment? Is it just a warning like hey you got 4 weeks go get a job or you’ll have to survive on 4 weeks of benefits? is it an extra 4 weeks (like an extended warranty)?
    How does phaseout actually work for unemployment? It doesn’t seem that phaseout is actually an extra benefit just more a warning period. Because in regular unemployment (pre covid) there was no phase out, it was just 26 weeks and that’s it.

  2. I’m still confused in Ohio. I was laid off in May 2020. I received the Ohio unemployment, then the 11 weeks then the extended. What is the MAX number of weeks for aid? I’m 60 years old. I can’t find a job with medical insurance. Lots of low paying jobs. I was making $20 an hour. This talk of September date – is this for new claims? The hourly rate for jobs is awful! It’s been awful. Since 2008, corporations have been allowed to take advantage of people. Plus this hire/fire at will. My company used the Pandemic to get rid of people! And employers balking at $15.00 an hour. Who can live on $15.00 an hour? Inflation is going to happen. Our “capitalist” system has been broken for a long time. Monopolies are allowed to exist. The top 10% own 80% of the money. And people are supposed to save for retirement. My medical premium is over $600 per month and going up. My deductibles are 3K for prescriptions. 3K for hospital/doctors. Prescriptions have only gone up. This was allowed to happen. There is a 55 to 64 age group who is suffering! I have an MBA in accounting but don’t know all the latest software. My degree is called archaic. I paid over $100k for 2 archaic degrees.
    I call this the “The Broken America”. Wallstreet insiders making money. People who have pensions may be ok but pensions are bye-bye. America broke and there is the lost decade of the aging population. I have seen many people of color get jobs over me. I am now in a minority group. White. Age 60. It’s been utterly horrendous since 2008. Who is doing well? Those who were doing well before. Who had the resources to keep buying stocks through the aftermath of 2008. Nothing was addressed:

    Low wages. Wages are not livable.
    Prescription costs
    Health premium costs
    Social security somehow got changed to a 5 year lookback. Hello?
    Hire/Fire at will allowed companies to abuse their employees.
    People were pitted against each other in the workplace.
    This was happening prior to The Pandemic. The Pandemic just pushed everything to the utter breaking point.
    A re-distribution of wealth must take place and the government will have to intervene
    People call it socialism but isn’t Medicaid, all this aid being printed, isn’t this a form of socialism. Government deciding the fates of so many people.

    This was allowed to happen. Technology took over so fast – people didn’t stand a chance. Jobs became a jobs of production and quotas. People being extensions of computers (the parts not yet automated). Who was minding the store as a group of Americans became so incredibly wealthy. It is similar to the Gilded Era in history. The industrial era only now it is the technology era. And it’s scary, folks.

    It’s all a little TOO LATE! Corporations were allowed to get too powerful. The rich got richer and inevitably the government will decide who lives or who dies by allowing or not allowing medical treatments to older individuals.
    No longer will there be men who fight in wars. Corporations will fight. AI, drones, biological warfare, computer hacking into systems like water, electrical, financial.

    This was an inevitable state of affairs. I am terrified for our children. The President is a figurehead. The true power if in that 10% who run this country. I don’t see them giving massive amounts of their money to the other 80%. I have run out of answers. I’m seeing a bandaid approach – especially for those 55 to 64 who were not tuned into STEM! We do not have control over the technology we have created and that technology is creating more technology at an accelerated rate.

    These great minds……what are the answers? If we don’t destroy each other. We are one planet. Not countries anymore. All have the ability to destroy mankind. I see utter stupidity in these power plays. There will be no winners!
    Sorry for the diatribe. It’s not science fiction folks. Our government lost control.

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