But many whose benefits ran out last year will have to wait for their payments to restart. And freelancers, independent contractors and certain people who can’t work because of coronavirus restrictions will have to provide more proof of employment when filing new applications or continuing their claims.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program expanded jobless benefits to gig workers, freelancers, independent contractors, the self-employed and certain people affected by the coronavirus. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program provided an extra 13 weeks of payments to those who exhaust their regular state benefits.
Both programs will close to new applicants on March 14, but continue through April 5 for existing claimants who have not yet reached the maximum number of weeks.
Implementation has begun
About half of states should be paying the $300 weekly boost by the end of this week, said Michele Evermore, senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project. That’s in line with experts’ projection that it would take two to three weeks for many state agencies to reprogram the new measures into their systems.
Several states, including New York and California, moved quickly to put parts of the new law in place. The California Employment Development Department, for instance, has paid a total of $434 million in enhanced federal payments to more than 1 million claimants, as of Tuesday.
In Georgia, nearly 167,000 out-of-work residents received their newly extended pandemic benefits and almost 300,000 jobless claimants got the extra $300, as of early January, the state agency said.
However, more than 239,000 Georgians who exhausted pandemic benefits on or before December 26 will have to wait a few more weeks to start the 11-week extension, though payments will be retroactive.
“We’re pushing as quickly as we possibly can,” said Kersha Cartwright, an agency spokeswoman.
In other states, unemployed residents have yet to get the benefits in the relief package.
Laid-off Ohioans, for instance, can’t submit either new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applications or ongoing weekly claims at the moment. The state Department of Job and Family Services expects those who were already approved to be able to file by the third week of January. And it expects to start issuing the $300 benefit by then too.
New requirements for some filers
The latest relief package requires those seeking Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits to submit additional paperwork that substantiates that they had a job or were self-employed.
Last year, state agencies could simply accept attestations from claimants about their employment and income. But lawmakers tightened…
Go to the news source: $300 unemployment benefits start to reach Americans in need