Explainer: Extending and Phasing Out COVID Unemployment Support Responsibly

December 21, 2020 — Blog    — Coronavirus Bulletin    — In Case You Missed It...    — Press Releases   

House Republicans have ensured meaningful reforms and program integrity requirements will accompany a temporary extension of unemployment programs created by the CARES Act that expire Dec. 31, 2020.

Unemployed individuals get an additional $300/week from Dec. 26, 2020 to March 14, 2021.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): Extends and phases out PUA, a temporary federal program covering self-employed and gig workers, to March 14 (after which no new applicants) through April 5, 2021.

  • Averts another “cliff”: Allows PUA recipients as of March 14 to stay on three additional weeks before their benefits end.
  • Provides additional weeks for those who would otherwise exhaust benefits by extending PUA from 39 to 50 weeks— with all benefits ending April 5, 2021.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): Extends and phases out PEUC, which provides additional weeks when state unemployment runs out, to March 14 (after which no new applications) through April 5, 2021.

  • Averts another “cliff”: Allows PEUC recipients as of March 14 to stay on three additional weeks before their benefits end.
  • Provides additional weeks for those who would otherwise exhaust benefits by increasing weeks available from 13 to 24—with all benefits ending April 5, 2021.

Other Unemployment Provisions: Extends provisions to March 14, 2021, including interest-free loans to states, flexible staffing, and relief for non-profits and state and local government.

Strengthens Program Integrity. Includes requirement for applicants to provide documentation of employment (not just self-certification as is currently the case) and verify applicant identity.

  • Includes Return-to-Work reporting requirements from House Republican’s Back to Work Bonus bill: States must have a place for employers to report when someone turns down a job and must notify claimants of the requirement to accept suitable work, unless there is good cause for refusal.

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SUBCOMMITTEE: Worker and Family Support