State uses CARES funding to extend jobless benefits

DES MOINES – Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) today released information regarding two new unemployment benefit programs available to Iowans. 

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), was created by the CARES Act and provides an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits to individuals who have exhausted their 26 weeks of regular state unemployment benefits. 

PEUC is available for weeks of unemployment beginning on or after March 29, 2020, and continuing through the week ending December 26, 2020. The weekly benefit amount for PEUC is the same amount an individual receives for regular unemployment benefits.  Payments will include all back payments for which the individual is eligible, in addition to $600 weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments through the end of July.  

Additionally, due to the increased number of unemployment benefits since the middle of March, State Extended Benefits (EB) have been triggered.   Unemployed workers who exhaust their allotted weeks of regular state unemployment and then the 13 weeks of federal PEUC benefits will now be eligible for State EB, which provides up to an additional 13 weeks of regular unemployment benefits while State EB is still triggered “On” in Iowa. 

The weekly benefit amount for State EB is the same amount an individual receives for regular unemployment benefits and PEUC.  No additional action is needed by individual claimants at this time as claimants will automatically be moved to the two new programs as they exhaust regular unemployment benefits.  

Iowans will not be eligible for State EB until PEUC benefits have first been exhausted.  IWD will provide notification to claimants when they exhaust PEUC and become eligible for State EB.  The availability of State EB is dependent on a rolling 13-week unemployment rate. 

As the state reopens and more people return to work, the rate will decline and the State EB program will end.  IWD will provide additional details of the State EB program as guidance is received from the U.S. Department of Labor.   

Statewide unemployment claims data, which reflects activity for the week prior, is made available in a news release issued on Thursday mornings.  It is also available on IWD’s website: www.IowaWorkforceDevelopment.gov 

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