FAQs For Workers:
Unemployment Insurance

These FAQs are for job seekers who have questions about the various benefits they may be entitled to during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and whether they should apply for regular state unemployment compensation or federal pandemic unemployment programs.

The Basics

Beyond the Basics

Important: Keep Your State Agency Documents

As a jobseeker, keep any documents you receive from your state unemployment agency.  This includes any documents you receive electronically or in the mail. 

Download electronic documents you view on your state agency portal just in case you are not able to access your portal in the future.

Keep the envelope and document for those you receive in the mail to show the postmark date they were mailed. 

You should also make a note on the mailed document with the date you actually received the document. 

FAQs about the September 6, 2021 Termination of Federal Programs

Unless Congress acts, the federal pandemic unemployment assistance programs will expire on September 6, 2021.

Which programs will expire on September 6th?

The federal programs that will expire include Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC).

This means if you are currently receiving benefits through any of these programs, your benefits will stop September 6, 2021. However, your state must continue to process and pay benefits to eligible individuals for all weeks of unemployment before the expiration date.

Your state must also continue to accept applications for PUA for 30 days after the expiration date. This means you will have until October 6, 2021, to apply for PUA benefits for any weeks of unemployment prior to September 6, 2021.

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What does this mean if I am currently receiving or recently applied for PUA benefits?

If you are receiving PUA benefits, your benefits will stop on September 6, 2021. 

Since receiving PUA benefits means you do not qualify for regular UI, you likely will not be eligible for any other benefits for any weeks of unemployment after September 6, 2021. 

However, your state must continue to process PUA claims for any weeks of unemployment prior to that date, and you should continue to submit your weekly certifications and any other forms required by your state agency. 

Most states process benefit claims a week after you are eligible.  So, you may receive payments after September 6th, but will not be eligible for benefits for any weeks of unemployment after September 6, 2021. 

You will be able to submit a new application for PUA benefits for any weeks prior to the expiration date until October 6, 2021, or 30 days after your state terminated the benefits if your state terminated the benefits early. 

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What does this mean if I am currently receiving PEUC?

If you are receiving PEUC, those benefits will stop on September 6, 2021.

Your state must continue to process pending PEUC claims for any weeks of unemployment prior to that date, and you should continue to submit your weekly certifications and any other forms required by your state agency.

Most states process benefit claims a week after you are eligible. So, you may receive payments after September 6th, but will not be eligible for benefits for any weeks of unemployment after September 6, 2021.

However, you may be eligible to switch over to regular UI or EB depending on your circumstances and what state you are in.

Your state must provide you with information on any benefits you may be eligible for and how to switch over to another program.

If you don’t receive this information directly, please visit your state department of labor website to find out more information.

If your state allows you to backdate UI claims, then you should be able file a new claim for benefits after the September 6th termination date if you would have been eligible for benefits for any weeks prior to September 6th but had not yet filed for benefits. Again, please visit your state department of labor’s website for more information.

You can find your respective state labor agency here.

 

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What does this mean if I am currently receiving state unemployment or extended benefits?

If you are currently receiving state unemployment insurance or extended benefits, you will continue to receive your regular weekly benefits but will no longer receive the additional $300 of FPUC benefits. This means your weekly benefit amount will go down by $300 for any week after September 6, 2021.

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Newsroom

News Releases

NELP Welcomes Biden Administration Call for Immediate Unemployment Insurance Reforms

We applaud the Biden administration for urging Congress to enact immediate long-term unemployment insurance reforms.

Posted Aug 19, 2021 Read More

News Releases

JOBS REPORT:  Despite Job Growth, as Benefit Cliff Approaches, Renewing and Reforming Unemployment Insurance is An Urgent Racial Justice Matter

Workers need bold reform that will lay the groundwork for an equitable unemployment insurance system and labor market.

Posted Aug 6, 2021 Read More

News Releases

New Report Proposes Critical Unemployment Insurance Policy Reforms

The report calls for a stronger federal role and permanent reforms to UI benefits to better sustain families.

Posted Jun 24, 2021 Read More

FAQs that will be updated with policy changes regarding working during the pandemic with an arrest and/or conviction record.

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