What Happens When My Unemployment Benefit Year Ends? Do I File a New Claim or Automatically Get Extra Weeks under PUA and PEUC

This article was last updated on April 27

Millions of American’s have been relying on unemployment benefits over the last year as their primary source of income following COVID related job losses. This has also meant a growing number of jobless or underemployed folks on unemployment have or are about to reach the end of their benefit year.

With the combination of regular state funded unemployment and enhanced unemployment benefits under the PUA and PEUC programs to consider it has been confusing for many claimants in terms of what actions they need to take to ensure no lapse in benefits. On top of this benefit year end rules vary across states, which makes it even more challenging to figure out what to do next. To help you navigate this, here are some general guidelines and FAQS. I also strongly recommend you check state specific resource pages for more information.

What is Benefit Year End (BYE)?

Most states define your benefit year as the 12 month period after you filed your claim for benefits. So the ending date of the claim is referred to as the benefit year end or BYE date. The BYE date generally falls on the week ending date from when the claim was first paid twelve months ago. Regular UI, Extended state benefits (or FED-ED) and PEUC (including extensions) are all subject to the BYE provisions.

The only exception are claimants on PUA, where in many states like New York and California, claimants can keep filing/certifying for PUA benefits under their existing claim.

The BYE represents the claimant’s original filing date and not when they may have gotten extension. So for example if John Doe filed for benefits first in March 2020, but then moved to PEUC and had 49 more weeks available to them, their BYE date is still in March 2021 (regardless of the latest extension to Sept. 4, 2021).

State Unemployment Agencies and Labor Departments Sending Notices

If your BYE is approaching your state unemployment agency should send you a notice instructing you what to do. If you don’t get one, check your state’s UI agencies website around BYE instructions and don’t just assume you have to manually file a new claim to keep getting benefits. With all the programs in place the process can become complicated and different actions could be required based on the type of benefits you are receiving.

Some states, like New Jersey, are automatically renewing applications (they may create a new claim as a result) so eligible claimants don’t need to do anything, but others are notifying certain claimants that they need to manually reapply or their benefits could be halted. That is why it is critical you are paying attention to correspondence (emails, letters and texts) from your state UI agency if your BYE is approaching.

My Claim To Extend Benefits was Denied

While the denial of a claim sounds like bad news and causing consternation for many, it is actually how may states (like California) are managing processing around benefit year end dates. This is because the denial is based on your eligibility for state unemployment benefits, which are tied to earnings or wages earned over the prior quarters (Wage Base Period). If it is determined you do not have enough earnings that would qualify you for a new benefits year, you’ll be put right back on the enhanced unemployment extensions like PUA and PEUC. So basically, the re-application system is just checking to make sure they don’t qualify for a new benefits year, and then continuing with the federally funded extensions.

When Do I a File a New Claim – Before or After my Benefit Year End?

A claimant must generally wait until the day after their BYE date to file their new claim, unless the state is automatically extending/refiling claims. Some states like Virginia require you to wait 24 hrs after your BYE date to reapply. States like New Jersey are automatically processing new claims at BYE dates so claimants don’t need to re apply and will be notified if additional verification or documentation is needed.

Benefit Year End and Retroactive Payments for Missing or Underpaid Amounts

A common question I get are for people who are approach their BYE date but due to their low account or claim balance they may not be eligible for their full and supplementary payments in the last week or two of their benefit year. You can see this type of question below from James:

I receive Unemployment benefits (in CA). I am PEUC on extension. My year ends on May 24. 2021. I have $900.00 left in my account currently. Each certification I usually get $1410.00 after tax and with extra $300) is it true I’ll only get about half a payment next certification because of the amount left in the account? The amount left in account does not carry me into May 24th. I know that I have to reapply for a new claim at year end so I therefore set an alert to do so on May 24th. Can I do this earlier so there is no lapse? I know it can take three weeks or longer to receive approval and payment.

Question is: When can I file my new claim if my year ends May 24, 2020?

The CA EDD (and most state UI agencies) do provide guidance for PEUC claimants (in CA PUA claimants, don’t need to file a new claim) which states that for those on PEUC claims:

  1. Claimants will be notified that they need to file a new claim, generally at or after the BYE date (so that answers one part of the question)
  2. If you qualify for a new unemployment claim, but the weekly benefit amount is less than what you were earning on your PEUC extension, you will finish collecting the rest of your PEUC extension and then will be switched to your new unemployment claim. If you don’t qualify for a new unemployment claim, you will continue collecting the rest of your PEUC claim with the additional 25 weeks made available under the latest extension.

Given the process could a few weeks, retroactive payments will be made for amounts your were eligible for.

13 thoughts on “What Happens When My Unemployment Benefit Year Ends? Do I File a New Claim or Automatically Get Extra Weeks under PUA and PEUC

  1. Mine will be expire on june /6/2021 what suppose to be do next.
    I am so confused
    Do i reapply before BYE ending or after

  2. my claim was exhausted Dec 27th. My BYE was March 13. I have a program integrity hold and its been that was since the very beginning of Jan. . CDLE sent n invite to do the ID.ME verification thing so I did right away. I had to do the video call with a trusted referee or whatever and got verified. They sent me an email to confirm. The Trusted ref told me that I would get an email fro CDLE within 10 days and then I would be good to go. 10 days go by….nothing, 3 weeks go by…. still nothing. I called and finally got a hold of a live person and he got a supervisor, asked me for some information and then “put a ticket in” to resolve my intregrity hold and locked account. He tells me that in 2-3 days I should get in email from CDLE with further instructions. Nothing. that was 3 months ago. A few weeks later I call back and talk to another person. She tells me all we can do is sit and wait. I went back to the ID.ME website to makesure that CDLE is autherized to see my verification, they are. There was a link at the top of the page to have them contact CDLE on my behlf to help move things along. It did no good, I am still waiting. Its been 5 months, nobody wll tell me anything and I am super frustrated and dont understand why there is not 1 person that can tell me anything, no replies to my emails or calls or even when i call them. It says on heir website if ive been verified and still have a hold its because there is something else showing them its fraudulent and that they are supposed to contact me and let me know whats next….nope! I mean atleast send me something telling me to screw off if thats the case. Dont just leave me hangin….let me move on to my appeal or something. But as it sits, Im stuck. there is nothng I can do.

  3. I just went on Gov2go chat to ask about non-payment and got this response:

    “ The message about overpayment was sent by the VEC through the Gov2Go notification platform. You have not done anything wrong to cause this FPUC overpayment. This mistake was an error by the VEC. The VEC apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program pays a base weekly benefit of $158.00. The base benefit amount is payable for each week benefits are claimed beginning with the week ending March 21, 2020. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) pays an additional benefit amount of $600.00 to the weekly PUA benefit amount of $158.00. The CARES Act of 2020 only authorizes FPUC payments with the week of March 29, 2020 through April 4, 2020 and for weeks that will follow. The PUA payment of $158.00 for the weeks ending March 21 and 28, 2020 was valid. The $600.00 FPUC payment that was included in the payment for the weeks ending March 21 and 28, 2020 was not valid. The PUA payment of $158.00 for the week ending April 4, 2020 was valid. The $600.00 FPUC payment that was included in the payment for the week ending April 4, 2020 was valid as well. PUA and FPUC payments for this week and later are not in question. The VEC will recoup the overpayment of the FPUC benefit when you submit the weekly filing for May 9, 2020 and May 16, 2020 as necessary.”

  4. My BYE ending on March 31st. I FINALLY got through to a real person and re-enrolled a new unemployment claim, as I am still unemployed due to to COVID. I received a confirmation number and was told that I should receive a letter in the mail in next few days with monetary determination (that was over 9 days ago). I called the VEC to find out what my “account balance” is and there is a figure with an ending date of April 2022. I haven’t received any money since the first week of April. Does anyone know if because there is actually a dollar amount and end date of April 2022, that I will be getting paid and getting retroactive pay? There is no clear answer anywhere. I’m in Virginia, btw. Any help would be very grateful! Good luck to everyone out there!!

    1. Cindy, Have you gotten paid yet?
      I’m wondering because I’m also in VA. My BYE was April 30. I filed a new claim, haven’t gotten anything in the mail yet, but I also did the same as you, and the VEC system said I have a balance and ending date of April 2022.
      Sounds like you and I have a similar circumstance, but one month apart. Just wondering what your status is currently so I have an idea of what to expect. This whole thing is so confusing!! And you are so right there are no clear answers anywhere!!

  5. I have been waiting 6 weeks. It says my pay is being held. I have been on unemployment since march 2020, and qualified for all the programs.

  6. My BYE was back in February, I have not gotten a dime since my new benefit year began here in Wisconsin. They gave me 8 of the last 11 week extension, which was paid on 3/5, but nothing since the new benefit year began. I spoke to multiple people at the DWD none of which could give me a straight answer. This is week 9, I just keep filing, hoping they catch up. Not sure what else to do.

  7. I am sooooooo confused…I don’t know what to do….I’ve read everything there is to read and I still don’t know what I’m suppose to…I’ve been trying to do the weekly claim since 4/17, but it just keeps telling me its waiting for rederminaton….do I stop trying to put in my weekly claim? I tried that but the claim date doesn’t change.(normally it would say “your entries have been accepted and your certification will be processed the next business day”.)
    It’s not saying that!

    1. PUA who reach BYE DO have to refile for UI after 24hrs of BYE date ( most do, unless your state is different). You will receive a confirmation number from UI that you did. If you did not make any money UI may or may not send a letter or email $0 of which you will be placed back into the PUA. *** YOU MUST CONTINUE SUBMITTING YOUR WEEKLY PUA request to get paid eventually( who knows when) …REGARDLESS. I would also contact the PUA department…normally [email protected] what ever the department of labor in your state is… confirm that this is right.*****

    1. I thought Ohio unemployment’s website said everything should be updated by April 9th.
      Still waiting almost 4 weeks

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