Iowa Workforce Development provides guidance on recently authorized federal benefits programs
On Dec. 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021, reauthorizing and extending the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. The CAA also created the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program. IWD has received the implementing guidance from the United States Department of Labor (USDOL), and is now working on the extensive system programming needed to distribute payments to eligible claimants.
Under the CAA:
- PUA: Now available through March 13, 2021, or for up to 50 total weeks of eligibility, whichever comes first. The additional 11 weeks can only be paid as of Dec. 27, 2020, with the first eligible payments set for the week ending Jan. 2, 2021.
- PEUC: Now available through March 13, 2021, or for up to 24 total weeks of eligibility, whichever comes first. The additional 11 weeks can only be paid as of Dec. 27, 2020, with the first eligible payments set for the week ending Jan. 2, 2021.
- FPUC: Now provides $300 per week to supplement benefits for weeks of unemployment beginning after Dec. 26, 2020, through March 13, 2021. To receive FPUC benefits, you must be receiving UI, PEUC, EB, Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA), Voluntary Shared Work (VSW), Disaster Unemployment (DUA), or PUA. FPUC benefits will not be paid from July 27 to Dec. 26, 2020, per federal guidelines. FPUC eligibility will begin on Dec. 27, 2020, with the first payments set for the week ending Jan. 2, 2021.
- MEUC: Now provides an additional $100 per week in supplemental benefits to individuals receiving certain unemployment insurance benefits who received at least $5,000 of self-employment income in the most recent taxable year ending prior to the individual’s application for regular unemployment compensation. Authority to make MEUC payments continues through weeks of unemployment ending on or before March 14, 2021.
For those claimants who received a weekly PUA or PEUC benefit payment for the week ending Dec. 26, 2020, with funds still available in their claim, payments will continue with no lapse in payments. IWD will automatically enroll all Iowans who are eligible for the PUA and PEUC program extensions. There is no need for people to call or reapply for these programs. If any information is needed, IWD will contact claimants directly. IWD anticipates that weekly FPUC payments (including retroactive FPUC payments) will be received by claimants beginning the week of Jan. 18, 2021. Additional guidance will be issued on how to apply for the MEUC program.
IWD encourages claimants to continue filing their weekly claims online. IWD will work diligently to release all eligible payments as quickly as possible, including any additional weeks of benefits a claimant could potentially be eligible for with the implementation of the new program extensions. The CAA does not impact work search requirements. Most Iowans will still be required to conduct work searches. Customers are encouraged to log onto www.IowaWORKS.gov or the mobile application to continue their work search activities. Further assistance can also be received by visiting the website or calling customer service at 1-866-239-0843.