Phase II Coronavirus Package // Unemployment Insurance

March 18, 2020

How does the H.R. 6201 support states that are experiencing a spike in claim for unemployment benefits due to COVID-19 layoffs and business closings?

Congress made available $1 billion for emergency administrative grants to state unemployment agencies that can be used to help with spike in claims, processing and applications. The funds are separated into two allotments. The first is immediately available, the 2nd allotment is available to a state that experiences a 10% increase in claims from the previous quarter.

How much additional money for administration is my State getting for support in dealing with the spike in claims from COVID-19?

DOL recently issued guidance to states (linked below) that includes an Attachment indicating the state-by-state allocations. DOL Guidance to States for implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Public Law (Pub. L.) 116-127, specifically Division D, the Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act of 2020 (EUISAA)

 

CLICK HERE to learn more about Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Division D Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act of 2020

Did H.R. 6201 extend unemployment benefits to self-employed workers and independent contractors who are not eligible for unemployment insurance?

H.R. 6201 did not include changes to extend Unemployment Insurance benefits to non-eligible workers; however, it did include $1 billion in emergency administrative grants to help States address the spike in claims due to COVID-19 and process applications.

The Senate’s proposed CARES Act creates a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance disaster program to cover individuals who are not usually eligible for Unemployment Insurance including self-employed and independent contractors. In total the bill includes approx. $250 billion in unemployment provisions to support workers – an unprecedented investment.

How does the H.R. 6201 support states that are experiencing a spike in claim for unemployment benefits due to COVID-19 layoffs and business closings?

The bill immediately provides $500 million in emergency administrative grants to increase state capacity to process unemployment applications and make payments. It also makes an additional $500 million available to states that experience a 10% percent increase in unemployment to provide 100% federally funded benefits to provide extra weeks of benefits.

CRS has released a 3-page explainer document that reviews the paid leave and unemployment insurance provisions here.

 

(Updated 3/26)