As part of the new federal stimulus bill signed into law Sunday by President Donald Trump, federal unemployment benefits first passed in the CARES Act will continue in 2021. Here’s what that means for Iowans who are unemployed:
What are these benefits?
Through March 14, registered unemployed Iowans will receive an additional $300 per week in benefits through Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. FPUC initially gave unemployed workers an additional $600 per week, but that expired at the end of July.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation provides 13 weeks of additional jobless benefits after someone exhausts the 26 weeks of standard benefits from Iowa Workforce Development.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance offers benefits to those unemployed because of coronavirus and are self-employed, have exhausted all other unemployment benefits or aren’t eligible for unemployment because of a lack of work history.
Am I eligible for these benefits if my unemployment is not related to coronavirus?
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation is available to anyone who is unemployed. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation require someone to be unemployed because of coronavirus to qualify.
When will I start to receive benefit payments?
Iowa Workforce Development said Monday there will be a payment gap lasting “an unknown period of time.” Although the stimulus bill has been signed into law, IWD is waiting for guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor before sending the benefits.
Trump’s delay signing the stimulus bill, according to a report Sunday from Bloomberg News, prevented millions of Americans from receiving federal benefits this week.
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IWD anticipated the payment gap last Wednesday.
How are these different from the benefits earlier in the pandemic?
FPUC, PUA and PEUC all came from the CARES Act in March.
FPUC now gives $300 per week in benefits instead of the $600 per week earlier this year. The PUA and PEUC extensions — 11 weeks — are shorter than the previous 13-week period in the CARES Act.
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