WASHINGTON, DC – The signing of the American Rescue Plan Act significantly expanded the number of weeks that many workers will be able to collect pandemic-related unemployment insurance benefits. Now, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has published guidance to state workforce agencies regarding implementation of the ARPA provisions.
“Getting these extended benefits programmed into state systems is, as President Biden said about the entire American Rescue Plan Act, going to make a difference in people’s everyday lives,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Suzi Levine. “We are gaining ground in our fight against the coronavirus and providing additional support will ensure that people don’t have to choose between their health and their economic well-being.”
The guidance focuses on provisions in ARPA that extend Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, support workers by providing an additional $300 in weekly benefits and continue $100 for Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation – all through Sept. 6, 2021.
The guidance also confirms that the legislation extends a waiver of interest on outstanding state trust fund loans, fully funds Extended Benefits and the first week of regular Unemployment Compensation back to the beginning of 2021 and extends full funding of Short Time Compensation benefits, otherwise known as Work Sharing. It also provides roadmaps regarding eligibility dates for the several regular and pandemic-related unemployment insurance programs in simultaneous operation. This includes direction on coordinating benefits for individuals who may qualify for multiple programs at different times.
The department recognizes that states will need time to modify their computer systems to accommodate the extensions and modifications provided under ARPA and that some states will need a few weeks to implement the new provisions and begin notifying individuals.
The Unemployment Insurance Program is a federal/state partnership, with states responsible for accepting, processing and paying claims. Direct all eligibility questions to state employment agencies.