The CARES Act temporarily supplements Unemployment benefit amounts and extends the duration of those benefits.
From the date the bill is signed through July 31, 2020, all regular Unemployment and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claimants will receive their usual calculated benefit plus an additional $600 per week in compensation. This is not considered income for taxation purposes. It will be paid weekly.
The CARES Act also provides an additional 13 weeks of state Unemployment benefits, which will become available after someone exhausts all their regular state unemployment benefits.
To receive benefits workers must be actively engaged in searching for work.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides emergency unemployment assistance to workers who are left out of regular state Unemployment or who have exhausted their state Unemployemtn benefits (including any Extended Benefits that might become available in the future). Up to 39 weeks of PUA are available to workers who are immediately eligible to receive PUA. The program will expire on December 31, 2020, unless otherwise extended.
Importantly, this program will provide income support to many workers who are shut out of the state Unemployment systems in this country. In fact, workers who are eligible for state UI are not eligible for the PUA program.
Those eligible for PUA include self-employed workers, including independent contractors, freelancers, workers seeking part-time work, and workers who do not have a long-enough work history to qualify for state UI benefits.
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