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 Early Termination of Federal Programs

At the beginning of 2021, Congress extended the federal pandemic unemployment assistance programs to September 6, 2021. 
However, in May 2021, a number of Republican Governors announced they were ending some or all of the federal unemployment assistance programs in their state early. 

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

What does this mean for someone currently receiving benefits in a state that has decided to end federal unemployment assistance programs early?

Your state unemployment agency is required to provide 30 days’ notice prior to terminating their participation in federal pandemic unemployment assistance programs.

To view your state’s cutoff date, please visit your state department of labor website.

Federal benefits will continue through June 12th (earliest date a state is discontinuing benefits), and most announcements seem to state that they will pay benefits for qualifying weeks up to the termination date.

However, if you are receiving benefits under one of the programs scheduled to end early, your benefits likely will stop on the scheduled termination date. 

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What does this mean for someone who just applied to receive these benefits or is in the middle of an appeal in a state that has decided to end federal unemployment assistance programs early?

People who just applied or are applying should continue to do so.  However, jobseekers will not be paid for any weeks after a state’s termination date.    

As long as the weeks you are appealing are before the state’s termination date, you should continue with your appeal and if you are successful, you should be paid benefits for any qualifying weeks up until the termination date in your state.   

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Is early termination of federal pandemic unemployment programs cancelling all unemployment compensation?

No, this will only affect the federal pandemic programs (PUA, PEUC, FPUC, MEUC).

Those receiving state unemployment compensation should continue to receive those benefits. However, your regular unemployment benefits will no longer include the extra $300 increase after your state’s termination date. 

In addition, some states are cutting the number of available weeks of regular state unemployment benefits. These states recently passed state legislation that will shorten the duration of regular state unemployment programs. We encourage you to check your state labor agency website for more details on when these cuts will take effect.

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FAQs For Workers:
Unemployment Insurance

NEW: What does the American Rescue Plan Act mean for me, an unemployed worker?

1. What was the program that was created through the presidential memorandum and how does it impact my UI benefits?

2. What is Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)?

3. What’s the difference between UI and PUA?

4. What are the federal unemployment assistance programs created in response to the coronavirus pandemic?

5. Am I eligible for UI or PUA benefits?

6. Can I get UI or PUA benefits if I’m an independent contractor? And how do I know if I’m an employee or an independent contractor?

7. What if I’m still employed, but my hours and/or pay have been cut? Am I eligible for UI or PUA?

8. What if I was fired from my job? Am I eligible for UI or PUA?

9. What if I quit my job? Can I get UI or PUA?

10. I am an immigrant worker and have lost my job. Am I eligible for UI or PUA?

11. Will I continue to receive UI or PUA benefits after the first payment? Do I need to do anything else after I submit my claim for UI or PUA benefits?

12. How long can I receive UI or PUA benefits?

13. How much will I receive in UI or PUA benefits?

14. How do I apply for UI or PUA benefits?

15. How long will it take to receive my UI or PUA benefits?

16. How will I receive my UI or PUA benefits?

17. If I am called back to work that is unsafe because of COVID-19, can I refuse to work and continue to collect UI or PUA benefits?

18. I filed for UI or PUA but was denied. What can I do?

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

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