SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 31, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Department of Workforce Services is outlining the impact of the federal stimulus package for Utahns.
“On March 27, Congress passed a federal stimulus package known as the CARES Act, or the Relief for Workers Affected by Coronavirus Act,” said a department news release.
“Within this act are three benefits that unemployed individuals may be eligible for. The Department of Workforce Services is awaiting further guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor on the process for implementing these programs.
Implementation of these new programs will take time, but we are doing so as quickly as possible. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.”
These three unemployment insurance benefits through the CARES Act include:
Increased Unemployment Compensation Benefits
This emergency benefit provides most individuals an emergency increase in traditional unemployment insurance benefits of $600 per week through July 31, 2020.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
This benefit provides an additional 13 weeks of emergency unemployment insurance for people who remain unemployed after they have exhausted their traditional unemployment benefits.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
This emergency benefit provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits to people not otherwise eligible for regular unemployment, including the self-employed and those who have exhausted their regular and extended benefits.
“These benefits are new programs that will take time to put in place for Utahns as we coordinate with the federal government,” explained Kevin Burt, Unemployment Insurance Division director for the Department of Workforce Services. “We recognize this is a critical need for individuals at this time and are working to make them available as soon as possible.”
Individuals who have already applied for or are currently receiving unemployment benefits do not need to apply again to access benefits made available through the CARES Act, the news release said. Additionally, individuals who are currently receiving unemployment benefits and have run out or exhausted their benefits, are encouraged to continue to file their weekly claims. Once extended benefits are available such claimants will be retroactively paid.
For those that are self-employed, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance has never been administered by the state of Utah and guidance has yet to be received on how to do so, therefore there is currently not an application pathway for this new benefit.
Please remember, there is no need to call about and/or request these new benefits. As always if individuals have questions about their claim the division will contact them.
With additional questions regarding the impact of the CARES Act on unemployment insurance benefits or unemployment insurance eligibility generally, and updates on the progress of implementing these stimulus benefits, please visit jobs.utah.gov/covid19/ for FAQs and available workshops.
The weekly Unemployment Insurance Claims Report will be released on Thursday, with data for the week of March 22-28.