• Akiko Thayer

Are you receiving Unemployment Insurance as a result of COVID-19? More money is coming your way!

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, which was designed to mitigate the economic effects of COVID-19. In an effort to do so, the CARES Act includes several programs related to Unemployment Insurance (UI). One of these programs is the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program.

To save you time reading through the whole Unemployment Insurance Guidance Letter (15-20) published by the US Department of Labor, I’ve distilled the key points below!

What is it: The FPUC provides eligible individuals with $600/week in addition to their weekly Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit.

Who is eligible: Anyone receiving UI benefits as a result of not being able to work (whether fully or partially) through no fault of their own.

Beginning and end date of FPUC: This is a temporary program, lasting only 4 months until July 31, 2020. In California since our week of unemployment ends on a Saturday, we’ll have the following start and end dates.

  • The first week that FPUC may be paid is the week ending April 4, 2020. The CA EDD has said they’ll start paying out the additional $600 starting on Sunday, April 12 (for the week ending April 11). Retroactive payments for the prior week will be made as well.

  • The last week that FPUC may be paid is the week ending July 25, 2020.

Payment Calculations: The full $600 benefit will be paid to anyone with a valid UI claim who is eligible to receive at least $1 of UI benefits for a particular week of unemployment.

  • This includes individuals who are receiving partial UI benefits.

  • Those who have their UI benefits intercepted to pay debts are still eligible to receive the full $600, even if 100% of their weekly UI benefit amount is intercepted.

  • Child support obligations will be deducted from the $600 FPUC payment, just as they are normally deducted from regular UI benefits.

Next steps: No action needed. The EDD will automatically add the full $600 to each week of current valid UI benefits.

Is it taxable: The $600 FPUC benefit is taxable income, but it will not affect an individual’s eligibility for Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Who pays for FPUC: The cost of the additional $600 is 100% federally funded. Employers can’t or won’t be charged for any FPUC benefits paid to workers.

There are two additional programs written into the CARES Act: the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). I’ll write a post about these as soon as the EDD implements these programs. Stay tuned!

Lastly, I'm in the process of transferring my blog content over to this website. Stay tuned for more helpful information!

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