Many States have adopted a range of helpful policies to expand access to UI benefits. In addition, the federal government is allowing new options for states to amend their laws to provide UI benefits related to COVID-19.
U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance clarifying what measures states can take to improve access to unemployment insurance (UI) for workers who lose their jobs or are temporarily separated from work due to the coronavirus. Some measures include:
- An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
- An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
- An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.
- The program was expanded to include freelancers, furloughed employees and gig workers, such as Uber drivers.
- An employee is not required to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19.
- UI benefits that would expand unemployment insurance by 13 weeks and include a 4-month enhancement of benefits — an additional $600 per week – on top of what state unemployment programs pay; in total unemployed workers are eligible to receive up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. The additional weekly payments end on July 31, 2020 and the additional weeks of unemployment end on December 31, 2020.
Below is a summary of the state provisions adopted. Select your state to learn more.
*Given the high volume of claims being made, phone lines to UI agencies around the country, it is best to apply online or fax in your application for faster results.*
**States still have to opt in the federal government program or will require individuals to apply for UI in their state the normal way before they can access the federal government program. (we have included guidance for what you need to know about the federal CARES Act) **
The CARES Act
The federal CARES Act was signed into law March 27, 2020. The Act provides enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) for individuals.
The program provides $250 billion for an extended unemployment insurance program and expands eligibility and offers workers an additional $600 per week for four months, on top of what state programs pay. It also extends UI benefits through Dec. 31 for eligible workers. The deal applies to the self-employed, independent contractors and gig economy workers.
PUC, PEUC, and PUA are fully federally funded. States will also receive additional administrative funds to operate these programs.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
PEUC benefits are available to anyone who is no longer eligible for other kinds of unemployment benefits from the date the state signed its agreement with the Department of Labor.
If a person exhausts PEUC benefits, they should be eligible for PUA benefits according to Labor Department guidance.
Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC)
From the date the bill is signed through July 31, 2020, all regular UI and PUA claimants will receive their usual calculated benefit plus an additional $600 per week in compensation.
These $600 payments have started in some states.
PUA Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
These benefits are for those who do NOT qualify for regular unemployment benefits (either because they lack sufficient earnings to qualify or have lost gig work/self-employment because of the pandemic).
Covered individuals here include people who are NOT eligible for regular state UI, including individuals who have exhausted their state UI benefits, including Extended Benefits.
Applicants will need to provide self-certification that they are:
(1) partially or fully unemployed, OR
(2) unable and unavailable to work because of one of the following circumstances:
- They have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have symptoms of it and are seeking diagnosis;
- A member of their household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
- They are providing care for someone diagnosed with COVID-19;
- They are providing care for a child or other household member who can’t attend school or work because it is closed due to COVID-19;
- They are quarantined or have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine
- They were scheduled to start employment and do not have a job or cannot reach their place of employment as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak;
- They have become the breadwinner for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19;
- They had to quit their job as a direct result of COVID-19;
- Their place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19; or
- They meet other criteria established by the Secretary of Labor.
OR are (3) self-employed (and have lost work), OR
(4) seeking part-time employment, OR
(5) do not have sufficient work history to qualify for UI, or otherwise do not qualify for state UI.
People who can telework with pay, and anyone receiving paid sick or paid leave benefits cannot receive PUA.
People eligible for PUA can receive up to 39 weeks of benefits, through 31 December 2020. There is no waiting week for the benefits.
The Alabama Department of Labor waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect UI benefits for the first week you are out of work. The requirement that a laid-off worker be “able and available” to work while receiving unemployment compensation benefits has been modified for claimants who are affected by COVID-19. Additionally, claimants will also not have to search for other work provided they take reasonable steps to preserve their ability to come back to that job when the quarantine is lifted or the illness subsides.
UI benefits are available to workers who are totally or partially unemployed due to no fault of their own. If the employer required the worker to stay home but did not offer telework, the worker might be eligible for benefits if they met the monetary and weekly eligibility criteria.
PUA: Alabama will begin processing these claims effective April 13, 2020. This benefit is retroactive to January 27, 2020.
PUC: Alabama began paying these benefits on April 8, 2020.
PEUC: Alabama will begin processing these claims effective April 20, 2020.
The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development has issued updated legislation and answers to FAQs regarding COVID-19 UI benefits. Alaska has waived the one-week waiting period. The limit on the number of dependents has also been removed and the allowance per dependent increased from $24 to $75 per week.
This covers both quarantined people, those who have to stay home and provide dependent care as well as those who lost their jobs due to its business shutting own operations.
PUA: Program is being implemented into the system (Benefit Payment Q&A)
PUC: Payment is now available! Payments will begin being dispersed Monday, April 13, 2020 (Payment Q&A).
PEUC: Alaska will continue to update our information concerning the CARES Act as it becomes available.
The Department of Economic Security is temporarily suspending the “actively seeking work” requirement. What this means is that for the duration of the emergency declaration an individual will no longer be required to look for work and apply for other employment while collecting unemployment insurance benefits. The Department is also temporarily suspended the waiting week.
UI benefits are available to (1) workers whose employer has permanently or temporarily ceased or drastically reduced operations due to COVID-19 resulting in a reduction of wages; (2) workers who, due to requirements that the individual be quarantined, are separated from employment and do not have any available paid leave even if the individual has an expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; (3) workers who leave employment due to a risk of exposure or infection and are a member of a population that is particularly susceptible to COVID19; (4) workers who leave employment to care for a family member who has been infected with COVID19; or (5) workers who for any other scenario are separated from work for reasons related to COVID-19.
Learn more on the Arizona Department of Economic Security’s page on COVID-19.
PUA: If you already applied for UI benefits and you think you may be eligible for PUA the Department will contact you when further action is needed. Keep a record of your earnings each week as this information will be required to determine your eligibility when PUA is implemented.
PUC: These benefits will begin to pay out starting the week of April 13. Retroactive payments will also be made for the weeks starting March 29. Individuals will not have to submit additional paperwork to qualify, it will be applied on top of their existing benefits.
PEUC: Please continue to check PUA page daily for updates.
The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services announced thateffective for claims filed on or after March 16, 2020, work search requirements have been waived for a period of thirty (30) days, or through the week ending April 18, 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Therefore, claimants will not be required to register or search for work during the thirty (30) day waive period.
Workers will not be required to seek new employment. It is recommended that the business provide a letter to their workers with a specific return work date that is within 10 weeks of their last day of work. This letter will expedite the process. Affected workers should provide this letter to Department of Workforce Services (DWS).
Workers are eligible for UI benefits if a business has a temporary reduction in its workforce for a period of 10 weeks or less. The DWS has also provided Common Questions and Answers guide, as well as a Notice to Individuals Inquiring About the Availability of UI Benefits As A Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services launched a new website to handle unemployment claims amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
PUA: At this time it is not known whether or not Disaster Unemployment Assistance will be made available for individuals who do not otherwise qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits. ADWS asks that you proceed with filing a regular unemployment insurance claim even if it is later determined that you are not eligible due to a lack of sufficient wages from work or are engaged in self-employment.
PUC: DWS is reviewing the guidance and planning implementation procedures. More information on when and how to apply for these new programs will be released soon.
PEUC: DWS is reviewing the guidance and planning implementation procedures. More information on when and how to apply for these new programs will be released soon.
You can be eligible for benefits if you have enough earnings over the past 12-18 months and meet other eligibility criteria. The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect UI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the Employment Development Department (EDD) processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim. Additionally, quarantined workers entitled to UI.
Workers who are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 and expected to return to work with their employer within a few weeks are not required to actively seek work each week.
Learn more on California’s EDD page on Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
PUA: The EDD has launched a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance page to keep you informed of eligibility requirements and the around-the-clock effort to build this new program from the CARES Act. The EDD will begin accepting online applications for this program on Tuesday, April 28. The page will be updated with instructions for filing a claim for PUA benefits when details become available.
PUC: For the week ending April 11, the EDD will begin issuing the new $600 additional unemployment benefit payments funded by the federal government. Visit the Latest News for Workers for the details.
PEUC: EDD will also keep you posted on the CARES Act provision establishing a new 13-week extension of benefits paid for by the federal government when someone exhausts their regular state UI claim between March 29, 2020 and the end of 2020.
On April 20, 2020, Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment will begin taking unemployment benefit applications under the CARES Act, paying the additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits and launch other new points of access for unemployed workers to obtain information. Self-employed and gig workers: you will need to provide either a 2018 or 2019 tax return as part of your application. Claimants do not need to take action to receive the additional $600 weekly benefit amount. More information will be posted on this page as it becomes available.
The Department has also provided answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to Colorado’s Unemployment Insurance Program. Check the page regularly for the latest information.
Connecticut’s Department of Labor is suspending the requirement that workers applying for new unemployment benefits directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic be actively searching for work. They have also removed the waiting week requirement.
Unemployment benefits are available to workers whose employer needs to temporarily shut down or slow down business. Employees who are furloughed by the emergency but expect to return to work can access up to at least six weeks of benefits. Employers reducing hours but not furloughing employees can partner with CTDOL’s Shared Work program, which allows employers to reduce employees’ work schedules by 10 percent to 60 percent and supplement lost wages with unemployment benefits.
Connecticut unemployment insurance already excluded the waiting period other states have removed. Learn more on Connecticut’s Unemployment Insurance FAQ page.
The CT Labor Department is working diligently to analyze the federal pandemic relief details found within the CARES Act and ask that you check these FAQs DAILY for updates.
PUA: CTDOL is expecting applications for PUA to be available by April 30, 2020.
PUC: Implementation date is expected by April 25, 2020, with payment by April 27, 2020, and payments will be retro to the first week in which the claimant filed for benefits (subsequent to March 29, 2020).
PEUC: To be available in the near future– TBD
District of Columbia
D.C. Council passed the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020. The emergency legislation extends availability of unemployment compensation to employees affected by COVID-19 and the public health emergency.
The Council’s COVID-19 measures also allow eligible workers to receive their unemployment benefits more quickly—as soon as they apply for them, without the usual one-week waiting period. Workers also are not required to be actively looking for work in order to receive unemployment benefits.
Affected employees who can access the extended unemployment compensation benefits include:
- Employees who have become unemployed or partially unemployed due to the public health emergency, because their employers have ceased or reduced operations due to District Department of Health (DOH) guidance, actions by the Mayor, or otherwise have seen a reduction in revenues because of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Employees who are in quarantine or isolation, either because they were specifically instructed to do so or because they are following recommendations from DOH, another government agency, or a medical professional.
- Employees who quit or otherwise left employment because their employer failed to comply with public safety directives from DOH, or because the employer required them to be physically present at work after they were advised to self-quarantine.
More information on who is covered—and how unemployment insurance coverage intersects with paid sick leave and workers’ compensation during the COVID-19 crisis—is shown in the chart from the District Department of Employment Services (DOES).
PUA: The system should be updated and ready for applicants by April 28, 2020. However, interested applicants should check for updates on the website and also email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for updates.
PUC: The additional $600 is retroactive to first week of eligibility after March 29. Additional $600 payment ends on or before July 25, 2020.
PEUC: Benefit will be automatically updated if you qualify, are currently receiving benefits, and once technical systems are modified.
The Delaware Department of Labor expanded UI benefits to workers affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Delaware has issued new guidelines to enhance the flexibility of Delaware’s unemployment insurance program to provide cash assistance to many Delaware workers whose employment has been impacted directly by coronavirus (COVID-19) and who would not typically qualify for benefits.
The new Unemployment Insurance guidelines to be issued by the Secretary of Labor are as follows:
- Workers will be eligible to receive unemployment benefits if an employer needs to curtail or shut down operations temporarily because of the Governor’s State of Emergency declaration or the coronavirus outbreak.
- A worker who has been ordered by a medical doctor to self-quarantine as a result, or due to risk of exposure to coronavirus COVID-19 will be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
- Parents or guardians who have been forced to quit or take unpaid leave from their jobs to care for children due to the Governor’s emergency closure of schools will be eligible for benefits.
- Workers who have been forced to quit or take unpaid leave to care for a loved one who has contracted coronavirus COVID-19 will be eligible for benefits.
- If a worker falls ill to COVID-19 and is unable to work, they may be eligible for unemployment benefits.
- Part-time workers may be eligible for benefits.
- The definition of weekly work search requirements will expand to include a wide variety of activities that meet the requirement, unemployment insurance deadlines may be modified for mandatory appointments, and applying for training programs or mandatory re-employment service appointments and workshops.
PUA: Delaware Department of Labor is currently working with a vendor to design and test new technologies that will integrate with our existing benefits claims system. This technology will allow the Division of Unemployment Insurance to verify earnings reported to the IRS and determine the eligibility of independent contractors and the self-employed to apply for benefits under the CARES Act. Workers will be able to apply through this new system within 3-6 weeks.
PUC: Beginning March 29, 2020, for any week you are eligible to receive PEUC benefits, you will also be eligible for the $600 additional federal payment. Disbursement of the $600 per week additional federal benefit to Delaware unemployment insurance recipients began during the week of April 5th
PEUC: If your benefits exhausted or expired between the dates of July 1, 2019 and Saturday, April 18, 2020, you will need to apply for the 13-week extension after 8:00 AM on Sunday April 19, 2020 by visiting ui.delawareworks.com and completing an application for benefits. If you are currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits and they will not exhaust or expire until after Sunday April 19, 2020, you do not have to take any action. When your current benefits have been exhausted, your additional 13-week extension will automatically begin.
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity updated its UI guidelines for workers and employers impacted by COVID-19. The guidelines include:
- Individuals filing an application for benefits from March 15, 2020 until May 2, 2020, will not be required to complete the work registration in Employ Florida.
- The work search requirement is waived for individuals requesting benefits for the weeks of March 15, 2020 to May 2, 2020.
- If you are on a temporary layoff, you do not need to seek work with other employers but must be able to work, stay in contact with your employer and be available to work when called back by your employer.
- If your hours and earnings have been substantially reduced, you may be eligible for Reemployment Assistance benefits. All workers affected by COVID-19 are encouraged to apply for Reemployment Assistance benefits.
- You do not have to look for work if you have a return to work date within eight weeks of your layoff date.
Workers who may be eligible for Reemployment Assistance include: 1) those who are quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency; 2) those who are laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 concerns; or 3) those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19.
Due to the staggering number of new unemployment claims submitted to CONNECT, Florida’s website for processing online applications, many applicants experienced errors and glitches that prevented them from filing successfully.
To address this problem, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has launched a new unemployment website that streamlines the application process. If you can’t access a computer or mobile device with internet access, you can now mail in a paper application for Florida unemployment assistance.
PUA: Floridians who are self-employed, nonprofit workers or contractors — including gig economy workers such as Uber and Lyft drivers — do not typically qualify for state benefits. However, the CARES Act allows these workers to apply for $600 per week in federal benefits by filing through Florida’s unemployment system. As of April 9, 2020, the state is still developing a process to accept these claims.
PUC: A $600 additional benefit will be added to unemployment compensation received from now until July 31, 2020.
PEUC: Florida is currently working to distribute these funds to eligible individuals and will be providing more information. This funding is subject to federal withholding taxes.
The Georgia Department of Labor has created a section on its website which details new information on how to file for unemployment, mandatory filing by employers for partial claims and reemployment services. The guidelines issues by Georgia Department of Labor include:
- Temporarily suspending in-person requirements for services provided by the agency.
- Providing online access to unemployment services, partial claim access for employers, and other reemployment services
- Employers are required to file partial claims on behalf of their employees whenever it is necessary to temporarily reduce work hours or there is no work available for a short period.
- Extending the time Georgians can receive unemployment from 14 weeks to 26 weeks, which is the longest allowed under federal law.
- Allowing Georgians who are laid off and earning $300 or less weekly in a new, part-time job to continue receiving full unemployment benefits.
Workers who are unable to work due to the COVID-19 public health emergency who have an expectation of returning to work when the emergency ceases shall be considered involuntarily unemployed through no fault of their own. This rule shall apply to all claims filed on or after March 14, 2020, including but not be limited to an individual: (a) Quarantined or self quarantined on the advice of a licensed medical professional; (b) Sixty (60) or more years of age; (c) With a recognized medical condition making that individual particularly susceptible to COVID-19; (d) Who is a caregiver and resides with someone who is sixty or more years of age or with a recognized medical condition that makes that person more susceptible to COVID-19; or (e) Who is a custodial parent or legal guardian of a minor whose school is closed due to COVID-19 and is unable to secure childcare.
PUA: The new federal PUA program is still under development and must be built from scratch to allow verification of wages. The first step is for the individual to file a regular state unemployment claim application. Once the PUA application is received, it will be reviewed for eligibility and a written determination will be released with appeal rights. See detailed instructions on PUA.
PUC: This supplement is an additional payment to regular weekly state unemployment benefits and includes all eligible weeks beginning with the week ending 4/4/2020.
PEUC: Individuals potentially eligible for this program will be identified and sent notification with PEUC claim filing instructions.
Hawaii’s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations released a fact sheet that explains the UI requirements. The State waived the one-week waiting period and suspended the requirement to search for three jobs weekly.
PUA: UI benefits for self-employed persons and bona fide independent contractors are covered through the PUA program under THE CARES Act. The DLIR is working on putting together a new web-based system to efficiently operate the program. Until the DLIR can launch the new portal, please hold off trying to file for benefits, certify claims, or address denials or disqualifications at this time.
PUC: Until the DLIR can launch the new portal, please hold off trying to file for benefits, certify claims, or address denials or disqualifications at this time.
PEUC: Until the DLIR can launch the new portal, please hold off trying to file for benefits, certify claims, or address denials or disqualifications at this time.
Idaho Governor signed an executive order that waived the waiting week for all claims filed on or after March 8, 2020. Parties are also given an additional 14 days to appeal claims decisions beyond the normal 14 days. Claimants are eligible if isolated and unavailable to work at the request of a medical professional, employer, or local health district AND will be returning to their employers. Idaho Department of Labor released FAQs about Unemployment Insurance and COVID-19.
PUA: First payments will occur in May. Retroactive to Feb. 2, 2020 or the first week an individual is out of work due to COVID-19, whichever is later.
PUC: Idaho Department of Labor will start processing $600 PUC benefit payments in the next two weeks. People currently filing or receiving benefits under the state’s regular unemployment insurance program already qualify for the additional $600 and do not need to take further action. The benefit is retroactive to March 29, 2020, and ends with the week ending July 25, 2020.
PEUC: The first payments are to occur in late April. If you have exhausted benefits, please continue to submit your weekly certifications. The benefit is retroactive to March 29, 2020, and ends Dec. 26, 2020. Once the program is implemented, we will inform you of any necessary requirements by phone, email, or mail.
- Employees who are temporarily laid off because of the COVID-19 virus may qualify for unemployment benefits if they were able and available to work at the time of the layoff. In order to be eligible for benefits, employees must be “actively seeking work.” Employees can meet this requirement if they are prepared to return to work as soon as the employer reopens.
- Employees confined to their homes because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 virus, or caring for a parent, spouse or child that has been diagnosed, may be eligible for unemployment benefits. However, employees will need to register with the state employment service, be available work, and actively seek work from their home. The employee will be considered available for work if there is some work that the employee can perform from home, and there is a labor market for that work.
- The 7-day waiting period is waived. Employees can apply as soon as they are laid off.
IDES has also provided a helpful COVID-19 FAQ for claimants.
PUA: Details will be available as soon. Continue to check back on the IDES website.
PUC: The $600 federal increase is now available! Individuals receiving unemployment benefits beginning the week of March 29, 2020, will receive an additional $600 each week above what they would receive in regular unemployment benefits until the week ending on July 25, 2020.
PEUC: Details will be available as soon. Continue to check back on the IDES website.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has developed the following COVID-19 response actions in relation to UI benefits:
- Relaxing the able and available requirement for persons impacted by COVID-19.
- Making work search optional and suspending in-person jobs counseling and training for persons receiving unemployment benefits.
- Redirecting benefit charges for contributory employers to the pooled account ensuring that any benefits paid under temporary expanded interpretations are not charged directly to the employer and deducting 50% of benefit charges for reimbursable employers.
- Relaxing interpretation of “good cause in connection with the work” relating to separation from employment to best serve claimants out of work due to COVID-19.
- Allowing late filing of unemployment benefits applications and weekly vouchers if the lack of timely filing is connected to COVID-19.
- Permitting persons who take a voluntary leave of absence with the permission of their employer due to COVID-19 to continue accumulating unemployment benefit weeks.
- Suspending the one-week waiting period before paying unemployment benefits to claimants retroactive to March 8, 2020, so claimants are eligible for benefits as soon as they become unemployed due to COVID-19.
- Waiving penalties and interest for employers that file their Q1 2020 Quarterly Wage reports and contribution payments by May 31, 2020.
PUA: An individual can file a regular claim for benefits, as it is necessary to file a state claim, even if you know you will be denied, before you can be considered eligible for PUA. You can apply for PUA starting April 24, 2020.
PUC: If you are eligible for regular UI or are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Insurance (PUA), you will not need to do anything additional to receive the $600 once you are found eligible for regular UI or PUA.
PEUC: This program is not available yet. DWD is working to implement this program as soon as possible. Check www.Unemployment.IN.gov for more information.
- Claimants can expect to receive payment within 7-10 days after the date the claim is filed. Work search requirements and work availability will be waived.
- Claims that are filed and identified as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19, will not be charged to employers. Fact-finding interviews for these claims will not be held although employers will be notified of claims received.
- Work search requirements have been waived.
PUA: For those who are self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees, and gig economy workers, or requesting an extension of benefits and are not currently filing weekly claims, click here to file your unemployment claim.
PUC: CARES Act weekly $600 benefits will begin to be paid to Iowans the week of April 13, 2020. Claimants with a debit card should see a deposit on Thursday, April 16, and direct deposits will be made on Friday, April 17.
PEUC: IWD is now accepting applications for CARES Act benefits. Information outlining CARES Act benefits and implementation can be found here.
- Waiting week is waived for those unemployed due to COVID-19.
- Workers unemployed due to COVID-19 and have taken all necessary steps to return to work for the regular employer, do not have to look for other work.
PUA: The state of Kansas is also working to implement other elements of the federal stimulus package. Continue to monitor the website for the latest updates on new programs and legislation.
PUC: The PUC, which provides an additional $600 weekly payment for unemployment insurance claimants, went live starting Thursday, April 23, 2020. If you are eligible, you will automatically receive the FPUC payment. You do not need an additional application.
PEUC: The state of Kansas is also working to implement other elements of the federal stimulus package. Continue to monitor the website for the latest updates on new programs and legislation.
The Kentucky Career Center has implemented new changes to Kentucky’s unemployment rules.
- The seven-day waiting period to obtain unemployment insurance benefits has been waived for the time being.
- And work search requirements have been waived until further notice.
- Kentuckians who have been laid off because of the new coronavirus or whose hours have been cut are able to apply for benefits.
- Those who are quarantined are also eligible.
- Expanding coverage to the self-insured, self-employed, and those employees otherwise not covered.
Learn more on Kentucky’s COVID19-Unemployment Insurance FAQs page.
PUA: If you are an individual that typically did not qualify for traditional Unemployment Insurance and applied prior to March 31, 2020, you may receive a denial notice by mail. You may disregard that notice. Within a day or two you will also receive a follow-up approval letter for PUA with instructions on benefit payments.
PUC: Weekly payments of $600 will begin the week of March 29, 2020
PEUC: Individuals whose UI benefits were exhausted after July 2019 are eligible to apply for the 13-week extension.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission issued new guidance for UI benefits in response to COVID-19. The changes mean more people may be eligible for unemployment insurance.
Those who may qualify include:
- Workers whose hours were reduced because of lack of work due to coronavirus
- Employees who are not being compensated despite their workplace temporarily closing
- Employees instructed not to go to work, and who are not being paid while at home
Under the new guidance, the following provisions have been updated:
- Work search requirement waived.
- Week-long waiting period is waived so claims can be processed immediately.
- Benefits “non-charged” to the employer’s experience rating account.
PUA: This program is expected to be implemented by April 13, 2020. When you file your claim application, a determination of monetary eligibility will be issued for a Regular (State) Unemployment claim. If you are not eligible for a Regular Unemployment claim, the department WILL make a determination for PUA. All you have to do is continue to file for your weekly benefits currently. The department will ask additional questions once the program is fully implemented.
PUC: Payments are expected to begin on April 13, 2020. Louisiana is programming it’s systems to accommodate the changes. Anyone who is qualified for at least $1 of State Unemployment Insurance Benefits or PUA benefits will be eligible to receive the additional $600 benefit from the federal CARES Act. This includes self-employed and 1099 workers, who are normally excluded from receiving state benefits.
PEUC: As of April 9, 2020, the department is still awaiting guidance from USDOL.
Maine’s Department of Labor enacted temporary legislation help relieve the financial burden of temporary layoffs, isolation, and medically-necessary quarantine by making unemployment benefits available to individuals whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19. The legislation temporarily revises eligibility requirement to provide unemployment coverage in situations not typically covered, such as:
- An employer temporarily ceases operation due to COVID-19
- An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work once the quarantine is over
- An individual must take a leave of absence to care for a dependent who is affected
The legislation also waives the work search requirement for individuals still connected to their employer and waives the one-week waiting period so that benefits will be available sooner. In addition, any benefits paid under these provisions would not affect the employer’s experience rating record. Maine’s Emergency Legislation FAQ provides more answers.
These new programs are complex, and we are working to implement them as quickly as possible. Maine’s Department of Labor has created a Unemployment Programs Guide to provide updated information to individuals.
PUA: Those who have exhausted all available benefits already or are self-employed should wait to file a claim for benefits as that program is not yet implemented and filing at this point will only result in a denial. The department will continue to provide information as it becomes available.
PUC: he additional $600 in weekly benefits provided by the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) will begin to be sent out early the week of April 20, 2020.
PEUC: Extended Benefits are activated based on the increase in the average number of claims filed over a 13-week period when compared to the same weeks in the two previous calendar years. Those who have exhausted all available benefits already or are self-employed should wait to file a claim for benefits as that program is not yet implemented and filing at this point will only result in a denial. The department will continue to provide information as it becomes available.
The legislation allows the state to extend temporary unemployment benefits to workers who have to be quarantined or whose employers temporarily close. The legislation also makes people eligible for benefits when they have to leave their jobs due to risk of exposure or to care for an infected family member. Maryland provides answers to FAQ’s about COVID-19 and UI Benefits on their UI Benefits Administration page.
The Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor (MDDOL) has ordered that for ten weeks, effective March 20, 2020, a temporary exemption from the work search requirements for individuals receiving unemployment insurance benefits. The exemption applies to both current and new recipients, and it means that unemployment recipients in Maryland do not have to search for work.
Maryland provides answers to FAQ’s about COVID-19 and UI Benefits on their UI Benefits Administration page.
PUA: Please do NOT yet submit an application if you are self-employed, an independent contractor, gig worker, have insufficient work history, and/or believe you may be eligible. The system is currently not set up to process these types of applicants, as they are formerly considered ineligible. If you do submit an application, it will be denied. To receive an e-mail once the new application is ready, please sign up here.
PUC: You will be automatically updated if you qualify, are currently receiving benefits, and once technical systems are modified.
PEUC: You will be automatically updated if you qualify, are currently receiving benefits, and once technical systems are modified.
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), have taken a series of actions to assist workers and employees.
For current unemployment claims:
- All requirements regarding attending seminars at the MassHire career centers have been suspended.
- Missing deadlines due to effects of COVID-19 will be excused under DUA’s good cause provision.
- All appeal hearings will be held by telephone only.
EOLWD and DUA are filing emergency regulations that will allow people impacted by COVID-19 to collect unemployment if their workplace is shut down and expects to reopen in four or fewer weeks. The following conditions apply:
- Workers must remain in contact with their employer during the shutdown.
- Workers must be available for any work their employer may have for them that they are able to do.
- An employer may request to extend the period of the covered shut-down to eight weeks, and workers will remain eligible for the longer period under the same conditions described above.
- If necessary, DUA may extend these time periods for workers and employers.
Employers who are impacted by COVID-19 may request up to a 60-day grace period to file quarterly reports and pay contributions. Massachusetts is continuing to update their site with Important Unemployment benefits Information and Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The UI benefits under this new program are not yet available and DUA now says they will become available on April 30. For more information and updates about UI and COVID-19, see the website for the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA): www.mass.gov/dua.
PUA: You should apply for PUA retroactive to your first week of total or partial unemployment. Most regular UI claims are processed within 21-28 days after filing, and many are processed within the first week of filing.
PUC: If you automatically receive either UI or PUA, you do not need to do anything except continue to certify weekly.
PEUC: If you automatically receive either UI or PUA, you do not need to do anything except continue to certify weekly, benefits will automatically continue for an additional weeks 13 weeks.
Under Executive Order 2020-10 (COVID-19), Michigan has temporarily expanded its UI benefits eligibility to include the following:
- An individual must be considered to have left work involuntarily for medical reasons if they leave work because of self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to elevated risk from COVID-19 or a family care responsibility as a result of a government directive.
- An individual must be deemed laid off if they became unemployed because of self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to elevated risk from COVID-19. The employer of an individual covered by this subsection must seek a registration and work search waiver from the Unemployment Insurance Agency.
- An individual on a leave of absence due to displaying the symptoms of COVID-19 must be considered to be unemployed
- An individual who becomes unemployed because self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to elevated risk from COVID-19 due and files a claim for unemployment benefits within 28 days of the last day worked must be considered to have filed on time.
- Benefits will be increased from 20 to 26 weeks.
- Employers noncharged benefits.
- The unemployment insurance agency may approve a shared-work plan, regardless of whether the employer’s reserve in the employer’s experience account as of the most recent computation date preceding the date of the employer’s application is a positive number.
- An employer or employing unit must not be charged for unemployment benefits if their employees become unemployed because of an executive order requiring them to close or limit operations.
The state of Michigan has developed numerous resources to help keep you informed about COVID-19 and the state’s response. Visit the COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions Resource site to explore employee and employer frequently asked questions and answers.
PUA: Michigan’s self-employed workers, gig workers, 1099-independent contractors and low-wage workers affected by COVID-19 can apply for federal PUA beginning Monday, April 13 at 8AM.
PUC: If you are already getting benefits, you do not need to do anything to get the expanded benefits. If your application was denied within the last three weeks, that denial may be reversed. The Michigan Unemployment Agency will contact you for more information if you are now eligible.
PEUC: If you are already getting benefits, you do not need to do anything to get the expanded benefits. Benefits will continue auutomatically implementing the increases in the total number of benefit weeks from 26 to 39.
Minnesota’s Department of Unemployment Insurance has provided a resource for individuals to determine theireligibility for unemployment benefits. Their fact sheet Unemployment Benefits provides information on the regular rules for unemployment benefits.
An Executive order issued by the governor waives the non-payable week under state law, to allow applicants to have access to unemployment benefits as quickly as possible. While applicants for unemployment benefits must actively seek suitable employment, the order clarifies that “suitable work” does not include jobs that pose a risk to an applicant’s health or the health of others.
Additionally, applicants who have been temporarily laid off, or are not laid off but have reduced hours, may also be eligible for benefits. If an applicant has been laid off temporarily, they can meet work search requirements by staying in contact with their current employer. The order also waives the ordinary five-week benefit limitation for business owners who have become unemployed as a result of COVID-19 and are otherwise eligible for benefits.
PUA: The department is currently working to implement the new federal program for self-employed people, independent contractors, and other workers who do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits. They will provide updates here as progress is made. There are special instructions for self-employed people that will allow you to qualify for PUA benefits more quickly once they become available.
PUC: If you are eligible for any unemployment benefit program, you will automatically receive the additional compensation after you submit your weekly payment request beginning March 29, 2020.
PEUC: If you are eligible to apply for extended benefits, you will see instructions within your online account. You can also use the step-by-step guide.
On March 21, 2020, the Governor signed Executive Order No. 1462 due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic to help employees and employers during this state of emergency. The changes associated with this include the following:
- Individuals receiving unemployment benefits will not be required to serve a waiting period week for initial claims filed from March 8, 2020, through June 27, 2020.
- Work search requirements that normally must be met to be considered eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits shall be suspended beginning March 21, 2020, until June 27, 2020.
- All collection activities including, but not limited to, interception of state tax refunds, payment agreements, enrollment of liens, tax garnishments, and claimant overpayment garnishments shall be suspended until June 27, 2020.
Workers may file a claim for unemployment benefits who are affected based upon the measures below: 1) those who are quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency; 2) those who are laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employers due to COVID-19 concerns; 3) those who are diagnosed with COVID-19; Or 4) those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19. Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) provies more resources for workers impacted by COVID-19.
PUA: You can apply for PUA assistance now. If you have filed and been denied for regular unemployment since off work due to COVID-19, you do not have to file a new claim. You will be notified of your potential PUA eligibility and any action needed on your part. You should continue to file your weekly certifications.
PUC: MDES is currently reprogramming its computer systems to handle the additional $600 federal benefit and that he hopes MDES will begin distributing that money the week ending April 4, 2020.
PEUC: If you are already getting benefits, you do not need to do anything to get the expanded benefits. Benefits will continue auutomatically implementing the increases in the total number of benefit weeks from 26 to 39.
Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ (DOLIR) Division of Employment Security (DES) continues to process unemployment claims. All the DES staff are performing essential functions to support Missouri’s workers and employers in response to this public health crisis. Missouri has waived the waiting week. Weekly work search requirements are not required when there is a recall date within eight weeks of the temporary lay-off. These provisions apply to those quarantined individuals as well as those self quarantined and those told to stay home, but not offered telework. Missouri provides a helpful guide to what workers need to know about UI benefits.
PUA: Missouri is processing PUA claims beginning with the week of April 19, 2020. To be eligible for a PUA claim, individuals must first file a regular unemployment claim and be found ineligible. Most self-employed individuals who file a claim will receive a notice that they are not an insured worker. This is because they are not covered under the regular unemployment insurance system.
PUC: The $600 federal supplement provided under the FPUC is effective the week beginning March 29, 2020 for those eligible to receive a regular unemployment weekly payment. Payments to eligible recipients began the week of April 12, 2020.
PEUC: Missouri anticipates that it will also begin rolling out the provisions of the PEUC program beginning the week of April 26, 2020. This program will provide up to an additional 13 weeks of unemployment to those that have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits. Once the PEUC program is operational, the DES will notify all potentially eligible individuals who have previously applied for benefits. Missouri encourages claimants who have exhausted their unemployment benefits, and still have an active benefits year, to continue to file weekly requests for payment.
Montana has implemented emergency rules to streamline UI benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19. The rules allow a claimant directed by their employer to leave work or not report to work due to COVID-19 to qualify as being temporarily laid off by the employer and eligible for benefits. Workers who must quarantine or who need to take care of a family member due to COVID-19 are also considered temporarily laid off and eligible for benefits.
Additionally, the emergency rules allow DLI to waive the one week waiting period before typically receiving benefits to ensure Montanans don’t experience a long gap without a paycheck.
Montana employers will also receive help through these rules. Individual claims will not be chargeable to a specific employer’s account. The rules also include a provision that could extend the time employers have to file wage reports and pay unemployment insurance contributions if the delay is related to COVID-19.
PUA: You can now complete a regular unemployment claim online at MontanaWorks.gov. DLI is working diligently to make necessary changes to MontanaWorks. Any benefit payments will be retroactive for eligible claimants as authorized by law.
PUC: On April 13, 2020, UI began issuing the $600 PUC benefits. If you have already filed a claim that is in process or have filed a claim and are currently receiving benefits, you do not need to take any action to receive the additional $600 per week. The $600 will be added to your weekly benefit amount.
PEUC: If you have exhausted your UI benefits after February 2, 2020, your claim will be processed for the extended benefits. You do not need to contact UID to receive the additional 13 weeks of benefits. A customer service representative will contact you if additional information is required.
- Waiving the requirement to search for work. The change will also accommodate those workers who are temporarily impacted by COVID-19, including those who are in an unpaid status due to a shutdown, quarantine, or because they are caring for a family member due to illness or a facility closure.
- The waiting week is waived for claims filed from Mar. 22, 2020 – May 2, 2020.
- Employers granted relief from charging for unemployment benefits paid solely as a result of COVID-19 exposure or illness, and for benefits paid to individuals eligible for short-time compensation benefits due to reduction in work as a direct result of COVID-19 exposure or illness.
- Treat workers in an unpaid status for any reason as a result of COVID-19 exposure or illness as being on a temporary layoff and attached to their employment
These benefits are not yet available. Final federal guidance on how to administer this benefit was received on April 4, 2020 from the U.S. Department of Labor. Nebraska DOL is evaluating this recently received guidance and actively working on creating these new programs. These new programs will take time to implement, please continue to check this FAQ for the latest information regarding the CARES Act benefits.
Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR), Employment Security Division has waived the work search requirement and the 7-day wait period for approved unemployment insurance benefits. Nevada UI Information for Claimants and Employers provides more recourses for UI benefits as a response to COVID-19.
UI available for eligible individuals “who are out of work and no longer receiving pay from their employer as a consequence of COVID-19, if otherwise eligible.”
PUA: Nevada is currently working with the Federal Government to implement these programs. If you are self-employed, 1099, or a gig worker, DO NOT attempt to file for unemployment insurance benefits at this time. Monitor updated information at the DETR COVID-19 Information for Claimants and Employers page for future instructions on filing for benefits under the PUA program.
PUC: As of April 12, 2020. The Division has started paying the additional $600 PUC payments to eligible claimants for the period starting with the week ending April 4, 2020, and payable thru the week ending July 25, 2020.
PEUC: Not yet avaliable. Monitor updated information on the DETR COVID-19 Information for Claimants and Employers page for future updates.
New Hampshire residents who are laid off, in quarantine, caring for family members or watching over children are now eligible for immediate financial assistance. You are able to apply for UI benefits if:
- If your employer temporarily closes due to COVID-19;
- Individuals that need to self-quarantine or are directed to quarantine at the instruction of a health care provider, employer or government official;
- Individuals that need to care for a family member that has COVID-19 or is under quarantine;
- Individuals that need to care for a dependent because of school closures, child care facility closures or other similar types of care programs;
- Self-employed individuals that are temporarily unable to operate their business because of any of the above listed situations will also be eligible. Those who fit this criteria should have information they can reference to look toward 2019 earnings to establish what their benefit rate would be.
Additionally, the ordinary one-week waiting period to receive unemployment insurance will be waived.
These new benefits will be available very soon and the Department has been working around the clock to implement as quickly as possible. Please continue to file your claims and check this website for updated information. There is nothing you need to do to access these new benefits other than continue to file your weekly claims.
It is unclear if New Jersey is suspending the active search requirement, but the New Jersey Division of Unemployment Insurance is advisingthat applicants waiting to be recalled to their present job, or delaying their job search until this natural emergency ends or subsides, should answer “YES” when asked if they are actively seeking work when certifying for benefits each week
UI available to (a) people out of work because employer voluntarily closed or was ordered closed; (b) workers who have less hours available due to business slow down or lack of demand. UI may be available, on a case by case basis, where employers stay open in defiance of public health urging to close and worker refuses to work.
PUA: You may be eligible for UI benefits, and should apply online at myunemployment.nj.gov. If denied, you are also likely eligible for benefits under PUA, since ineligibility for regular unemployment is a prerequisite for receiving these expanded benefits due to COVID-19. In this case, you will need to gather the last two years of your tax returns, or other evidence of income history, which will be necessary for processing your claim once the federal rules are established. The PUA benefits can be paid retroactively for periods of unemployment beginning or after January 27, 2020. Additional details will be posted online as they become available.
PUC: You do not have to do anything except continue to certify weekly to receive the $600/week. Residents already collecting unemployment will begin to see their $600 supplemental unemployment benefit arrive April 14 (for the week of March 29th). It will be a separate payment from your regular unemployment benefit, and will be available to those receiving benefits until July 25, 2020.
PEUC: The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development is waiting for guidance on the 13-week extension of unemployment benefits.here is no action required on your part right now; please check back for details.
The state of New Mexico began assisting workers whose hours are reduced or who are laid off because of the COVID-19 public health emergency with applications for UI benefits. Under the emergency provision to the UIrules, the work search requirement for affected workers has been waived for up to 4 weeks by the Department of Workforce Solutions. You may be eligible if the situations described below apply to you:
- Employers may lay off some or all of their workforce as a result of the impact of COVID-19; for example, a restaurant that sees a significant reduction in business due to lack of customers dining out during this time, or an event facility that cancels all events until a later date, or bus drivers who are out of work due to temporary school closures.
- Workers who are self-quarantined or directed to be quarantined, or who have immediate family who is quarantined.
- Workers who have their hours reduced as a result of COVID-19.
New Mexico provides a Fact Sheet for more information and guidance.
PUA: PUA is now available. The link “Apply for PUA Benefits” will appear in the left navigation on your Unemployment Insurance claim homepage only if you have completed step 1 (applying for regular state Unemployment Insurance) and were deemed ineligible on your “Monetary Determination.”
PUC: There is no additional action you need to take beyond filing your weekly certification.
PEUC: Not yet avaliable. Monitor updated information here.
New York State enacted the CARES Act to provide enhanced UI benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for New Yorkers. Here’s what you need to know.
The bill provides for an additional 13 weeks offered by the federal government after state benefits are no longer available through the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. That means for a state with 26 weeks of coverage, the total would be extended to 39 weeks.
The bill waives the waiting period for unemployment benefits due to a business closure for reasons related to COVID-19 or a mandatory order to close the employer.
PUA: You can file a PUA application online at labor.ny.gov. Please note, you cannot apply for PUA until you have been determined ineligible for UI benefits. You must apply for UI before you apply for PUA.
PUC: The additional $600 per week will be automatically added to all regular UI and PUA benefits
PEUC: Anyone who exhausted UI benefits after July 1, 2019 is eligible to receive 13 additional weeks of benefits.
The North Carolina Division of Employment Security is providing the following guidance to help people understand the impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus on unemployment insurance benefits. Under the new guidance, the following provisions have been updated:
- Work search requirement waived.
- Week-long waiting period is waived so claims can be processed immediately.
- Benefits “non-charged” to the employer’s experience rating account.
UI available to workers who, as a result of COVID-19, are: (a) separated from employment; (b) have had their hours of employment reduced; (c) are prevented from working due to a medical condition caused by COVID19; (d) are prevented from working due to communicable disease control measures, which include quarantine or isolation directives or orders related to COVID-19 issued by the State of North Carolina, the federal government, a local governmental entity, or a medical or public health professional
The North Carolina Department of Commerce has published a guide to help claimants file properly.
Updates about eligibility and how to apply for these benefits can be found here.
PUA: Apply for benefits beginning April 24, 2020.
PUC: The NC Department of Commerce is currently testing their system for this program and anticipate making the first payments by April 17, 2020.
PEUC: A definitive timeline for completing system updates for this program is not yet available. Check for updates on the website regularly.
Pusuant to an signed an executive order, Job Service North Dakota has suspended the work search requirement for individuals whose unemployment is related to COVID-19, and is waiving the mandatory one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits a
PUA: Job Service is now able to accept online claims from independent contractors, gig economy workers, self-employed individuals, and workers who may have exhausted the benefits available to them under the regular Unemployment Insurance system.
PUC: Job Service North Dakota expects to begin making $600/week FPUC payments to UI claimants the week beginning April 14, 2020. If you already received this week’s benefit payment, the PUC will be coming separately, and will be retroactive. After this week, claimants should expect PUC benefits along with their weekly benefit payment.
PEUC: Services are open to submit your PEUC claim application.
An executive order issued by Ohio’s governor expands flexibility for Ohioans to receive unemployment benefits during Ohio’s emergency declaration period. The following provisions have been updated:
- Unemployment benefits will be available for eligible individuals who are requested by a medical professional, local health authority, or employer to be isolated or quarantined as a consequence of COVID-19, even if they are not actually diagnosed with COVID-19.
- The waiting period for eligible Ohioans to receive unemployment benefits will be waived.
- Self-employed individuals and 1099 contractors will soon be eligible for unemployment benefits under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program.
Ohio is waiting for further guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor on how to operationalize these programs. Once it is up and running, retroactive benefits will be provided. More information will be provided soon. Check back here.
Governor Stitt amended Executive Order 2020-07 to include suspension of the required one week waiting period in order for unemployment insurance benefits to be paid to qualified claimants.
UI is available to individuals “who have experienced a loss of work due to no fault of their own when suitable work is not available.”
Oklahoma’s Employment Security Commission page on Coronavirus and UI provides more information.
OESC is working with Federal and State Officials on continuing efforts for Unemployment Insurance Program to continue to meet the basic needs of life and to continue to help stimulate Oklahoma’s economy. OESC will provide information to all customers as the agency is informed by Federal and State authorities.
The Oregon Employment Department provides unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to most workers who are out of work through no fault of their own. To get benefits, workers must meet some requirements. The Employment Department provides updated information specific to COVID-19 issues and unemployment insurance. Oregon’s Employment Department adopted a temporary rule ( Executive Order 20-11). This rule gets rid of the “actively seeking work” requirement to receiving UI.
As of April 7, 2020, WorkSource Oregon centers are not accepting in-person appointments.
UI is available to workers who: (a) mildly ill with COVID-19; (b) exposed to COVID-19 and quarantined; (c) caring for family member who is sick with coronavirus or subject to mandatory quarantine; (d) caring for child due to COVID-19 school closures; (e) work for employer that has ceased or curtailed operations due to COVID-19, including closures or curtailments based on direction or advice of Governor or public health officials, or due to business slowdown/lack of demand; (f) work for employer that has reduced available hours due to business slowdown/lack of demand (g) refuse to work in violation of a mandatory quarantine or Governor’s directive regarding limiting activities to stop spread of virus, and quits or discharged as a result.
Oregon’s Employment Department COVID-19 page provides more information.
PUA:The Employment Department is currently reviewing all the new federal legislation and will provide more information once we receive the required U.S. Department of Labor guidance so that we can carry out these changes as quickly as possible.
PUC: $600 benefit payments to those currently eligible for regular UI benefits will be available by Friday, April 10, 2020. PUC is payable for weeks claimed beginning Sunday, March 29, 2020 through the week ending July 25, 2020
PEUC: The Employment Department is working to implement this extension into our systems as soon as possible. Once done, they will notify everyone by mail who may qualify.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor & Industry has updated its site to provide important employment benefit updates as the situation evolves. The following rules have been temporarily suspended due to the emergency declaration to make it easier to file for UC benefits:
- Work Search and Work Registration requirements are temporarily suspended for all UC claimants. Claimants are not required to prove they have applied or searched for a new job to maintain their UC benefits. Claimants are also not required to register with PACareerLink.pa.gov.
- The Waiting Week is temporarily suspended for all UC claimants. Previously, eligible claimants would not receive compensation for the first week of unemployment. Eligible claimants may now receive benefits for the first week that they are unemployed.
- At this time, benefits are not being extended beyond 26 weeks.
Additionally, Pennsylvanians will be able to apply for benefits in 3-4 week increments for a maximum of 39 weeks under the CARES Act. Pennsylvania’s Office of Unemployment Compensation directs individuals to apply using the online system first to determine eligibility.
PUA: You can now apply for PUA, expanded eligibility for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for unemployment benefits.
PUC: Individuals don’t need to do anything extra to receive the $600. Continue to file biweekly claims – benefits will be automatically updated.
PEUC: If you currently have an open UC claim, there is nothing for you to do other than continue filing your bi-weekly claim. You cannot apply for any UC programs in advance, so you must wait for the week after your benefits are exhausted to apply for PEUC. If you have exhausted the maximum amount of regular UC available to you and are unable to file a new claim until your current benefit year expires, you will be eligible for up to 13 weeks of additional benefits through the PEUC program. You will receive a notice with instructions on how to apply.
Rhode Island’s governor signed a declaration allowing the State to access additional resources to supplement its response to COVID-19. Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT), has updated its regulation to expand access to the Unemployment Insurance (UI). The emergency regulations will:
- Waive the seven-day waiting period for regular unemployment insurance claims and claims filed under the short-term compensation program (WorkShare).
Workers may be eligible for UI if: (a) workplace closes temporarily; (b) directed by employer to remain home; (c) have to stay out of work to care for children due to quarantine, illness, or school closings; (d) impacted by COVID2019 and quarantined and unable to work.
The DLT has also provided a helpful fact sheet to assist individuals in navigating questions and eligibility.
PUA: You can apply for PUA and emergency unemployment insurance benefits here.
PUC: Every claimant receiving unemployment compensation will receive an additional $600 per week through the end of July 2020. The payments to UI claimants the week are expected to begin the week of April 13, 2020.
PEUC: The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT) and other state UI offices had to wait while the U.S. Department of Labor developed guidance on the program.
South Carolina’s governor signed an Executive Order that waived the one-week waiting period for individuals seeking UI. The order also allows South Carolina workers furloughed but still receiving some form of payment from employers during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic to receive unemployment benefits
Workers may be eligible for UI under following circumstances: a) if an employer must shut down operations and no work is available; b) if an employer must lay off employees due to the loss of production caused by the coronavirus; c) if an employer reduces the number of hours an employee works.
The Department of Employment & Workforce has also provided a helpful hub to assist individuals in navigating questions and eligibility regarding UI benefits and COVID-19.
PUA: The Department anticipates being able to accept claims for PUA no later than the claim week ending April 25, 2020.
PUC: Payments began on Sunday, April 12, 2020 and will continue throughout this claim week.
South Dakota has implemented a new bill tor evise certain provisions regarding reemployment assistance benefits in response to Coronavirus Disease 2019. The law waives the non-paid waiting week required before an individual may receive unemployment benefits, effective until the declared state of emergency ends. The waiver period applies to weekly requests for payment filed for the week ending April 4, 2020, and forward.
Reemployment Assistance (RA) benefits are available if: (a) test positive for COVID19 & temporarily unable to work; (b) out of work because employer closed due to COVID-19;
PUC: DLR began issuing this benefit the week beginning March 29, 2020. Claimants do not need to separately request the FPUC payment but should continue to file a regular weekly request for payment. The additional $600 weekly payment will be paid with the regular weekly payment via the method selected by the claimant.
PEUC: The first week a claimant can be compensated on this benefit is the week beginning March 29, 2020, and the last payable week is the week ending Dec. 26, 2020.
By Executive Order, the Tennessee Governor suspended the waiting period. Workers may be eligible for UI benefits if a) employer closes to help slow the spread of the virus and temporarily has to lay off employees; b) if claimant left work after being directed by a medical professional or health authority to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19, who intends to return to work, and who is otherwise eligible for benefits.
If employer continues to pay at a reduced rate during the time the business is closed employee may file a claim but must report those payments during weekly certification. The payment from employer may be deducted from weekly UI benefit amount.
Once the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development determines how the state will obtain the federal funding and implement the changes, the Department will announce details for independent contractors, the self-employed and business owners who will soon be eligible for PUA.
- The waiting week is waived for Unemployment Benefits.
- The work search requirements have been waived, effective immediately.
UI benefits may be available if: (a) worker self-quarantined (not mandated) and has COVID-19; (b) subject to employer ordered quarantine and not earning pay for time off or allowed to use PTO; (c) subject to government ordered quarantine; (d) stay home to care for a sick family member and lose job, if family member is your minor child; (e) employer closes business indefinitely or permanently b/c of pandemic and lays off all staff; (f) employer closes business for specific period of time and lays off all staff, and does not allow use of paid leave; (g) employer keeps business open but reduces hours.
Additionally, The CARES Act will expand unemployment insurance in Texas. Recipients will receive an additional $600 per week on top of what the state of Texas pays per week in unemployment. Texas has not yet issued guidance on how to apply for these benefits.
If you have already applied for unemployment benefits, DO NOT APPLY AGAIN. TWC will determine which pandemic unemployment benefits program you are eligible for and notify you by mail or electronic correspondence. Make sure to request benefit payment on the date listed on the filing instructions we provided you when you apply, and every two weeks after that on your filing day.
Utah’s Department of Workforce Services continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, under the direction of the Governor’s Office. UI benefits available to worker when: 1) employer temporarily ceased operations with the expectation that worker will return to work; 2) worker is quarantined, but not showing symptoms, and will return to work; 3) worker is able and available (not showing any symptoms of COVID-19), but are unable to go to work because place of employment has been quarantined.
Worker may be eligible for UI if worker was full-time and hours reduced due to COVID19. Report earnings which will then determine how much or if the worker is eligible for unemployment benefits. DWS has provided a helpful FAQ for COVID-19 and Unemployment Insurance Questions for Employees.
PUA: The PUA application is now available. The application is only available online and must be completed fully prior to submission.
PUC: If you are currently filing for benefits there is no additional action you need to take beyond filing your weekly claims as long as you remain eligible for unemployment. The benefit will be retroactively provided to individuals that already received an unemployment benefit during the week of March 29 through April 4, 2020 and those that have already received a payment the week beginning April 5, 2020.
PEUC: At this time Utah Workforce Service is unable to process any weeks of extensions while reprogramming our system. We encourage you to continue to check this FAQ for regular updates. P
To ensure that workers affected by COVID-19 have access to wage replacement programs, Executive Order NO. 01-20, issued by the governor, directed the Vermont Department of Labor to enact certain guidelines to help extend unemployment insurance (UI) to more Vermonters. The new provisions found in the Administrative Memo No. 1: Expanding Unemployment Insurance Benefits in Response to COVID-19 include:
- The state will not deny claims for able and available issues due to a claimant being isolated or quarantined at the direction of a health care official due to potential or verified exposure to the COVID19 disease. These individuals shall be treated as temporarily unemployed through no fault of their own, and able and available, for the purpose of UI benefits.
- For employees who are impacted by a temporary closure of a business and have been provided with a return to work date within the current ten-week period, the work search requirement will be waived. The agency is also waiving the work search requirement for the time the individual is in isolation/quarantine.
- The state UI agency is implementing “any/all measures necessary to allow for a more expedited benefit payment process” as directed by the Governor. This includes issuing payments prior to employer confirmation and shortening the Electronic Fund Transfer validation process whenever possible.
Check for updates here.
PUA: The PUA guidance can be found here.
PUC: Other than filing your weekly claim, no additional steps are necessary. Claimants will see the increase of $600 applied to weekly claims beginning for those filed for the benefit week of March 29 – April 4.
PEUC: At this time, individuals who have exhausted their typical unemployment insurance benefits are not yet able to recieve PEUC. The Department will provide further updates and instructions for individuals once they are available.
- No one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits to ensure workers can receive benefits as soon as possible.
- Enhanced eligibility for unemployment. Workers may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits if an employer needs to temporarily slow or cease operations due to COVID-19. If a worker has been issued a notice to self-quarantine by a medical or public health official and is not receiving paid sick or medical leave from their employer, they may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. In addition, a worker may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they must stay home to care for an ill family member and are not receiving paid family medical leave from their employer.
- Fewer restrictions. Individuals receiving unemployment insurance will get special consideration on deadlines, mandatory re-employment appointments, and work search requirements.
Virginia has also issued a guide to answer frequently asked questions from workers regarding COVID-19.
PUA: The PUA application is availabe now.
PUC: The Virginia Employment Commission recently received guidance from the United States Department of Labor and is working to implement needed system changes to make this happen as soon as possible. Payments to eligible claimants will be retroactive and will be made automatically in conjunction with their weekly claim.
PEUC: The VEC will be posting additional updates on their website at as new information is available.
Washington Employment Security Department has issued a statement to provide guidance for workers affected by COVID-19. The Department has adopted a series of emergency rules to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation and quarantine for workers and businesses. Some of the most recent changes include:
- If you are out of work as a result of the governor’s stay home order issued on March 23, you are eligible for unemployment benefits. When you apply for benefits, you should select “laid off” as your reason for separating from your employer. Choose “Company temporarily closed” from the secondary options.
- Work search requirements are optional for all claimants until further notice.
- You can request standby status for up to 12 weeks.
- The one-week waiting period to be eligible for unemployment benefits is waived.
Workers may receive unemployment benefits if an employer needs to shut down operations temporarily; worker is mildly ill with COVID-19; worker was exposed and remains quarantined; worker is immunocompromised and advised to self-quarantine; worker follows advice of public health and gov’t officials to self-quarantine and chooses not to go to work; employer reduces hours available.
Washington State has provided an easy-to-read comparison guide that lists some of the most common COVID-19 scenarios that may occur and the benefits that may apply.
PUA: You must apply for regular unemployment benefits before you can apply for the expanded benefits for people impacted by COVID-19.
PUC: The Employment Security Department is working to implement these changes in their system and you will start receiving that extra money in mid-April. Once the system is updated they will be provided retroactive from the time the legislation went into effect on March 29.
PEUC: If you’ve already exhausted your benefits from a claim that expired on or after July 6, 2019, continue to file your weekly claim, you will be paid retroactively after our systems are updated for the new federal legislation.
Individuals who are separated from employment, have had their hours of employment reduced, or are prevented from working due to either a documented medical condition caused by COVID-19 or due to communicable disease control measures related to COVID-19 are eligible for these benefits according to an Executive Order . Additionally, WorkForce West Virginia and the West Virginia Department of Commerce to provide unemployment benefits to those affected by COVID-19 and administer them to the maximum extent permitted by federal law.
- Waive the one-week waiting period for eligible West Virginians to receive unemployment benefits
- Waive the able and available work requirement
- Waive the work search requirement
Workers are eligible for UI benefits who, due to a documented medical condition caused by COVID19 or due to quarantine; isolation directives; orders relating to the closure or limitation of occupancy of certain types of businesses or facilities to limit the spread of COVID-19; or other orders related to COVID-19, are separated from employment, have their hours of employment reduced, or are prevented from working.
WorkForce West Virginia is encouraging employees who believe they are eligible for programs under the federal CARES Act to remain patient as the agency awaits guidelines for distributing benefits. Continue to check here for updates.
Wisconsin’s governor has issued an Emergency Order with new provisions to help workers affected by COVID-19. The new provisions include the following:
- The work search requirements have been waived.
- The one-week waiting period for benefits has been waived.
- Claimants who are otherwise eligible but out of work due to COVID-19 are considered available for work and therefore eligible for benefits.
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has provided answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-10 and Unemployment Benefits for claimants and employers.
PUA: Effective April 21, 2020 you can apply for PUA online.
PUC: Wisconsin plans to start making FPUC payments the week of April 26, 2020. Claimants DO NOT need to take action for the additional $600 per week benefit.
PEUC: While the law has been, the U.S. Department of Labor must provide guidance to all states on the proper administration of the program. In addition, once that guidance is received, the division will have to make the necessary programming changes. Please check this website for updated information.
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The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services stands ready to assist those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.Wyoming has waived the work search requirement if employers made temporary layoff and requests the employee be job attached for up to 12 weeks.
Workers “may be eligible” if they meet monetary criteria and federal weekly eligibility criteria, and: (a) employer must shut down operations and no work is available; (b) employer must lay off employees due to loss of production caused by COVID-19.
PUA: The Department is actively working to create these new programs and more information will be provided soon. Continue to check this FAQ for regular updates.
PUC: If you are currently filing for benefits there is no additional action you need to take beyond filing your weekly claims as long as you remain eligible for unemployment.
PEUC: At this time the Department is unable to process any weeks of extensions while reprogramming our system. Continue to check this FAQ for regular updates.