The U.S. Department of Labor has issued the first of several expected guidance documents providing information about unemployment insurance provisions in the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020, which extends federal unemployment programs such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

The legislation also reauthorizes and modifies the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which expired July 31, to provide an additional $300 per week to supplement benefits for weeks of unemployment beginning December 27 and ending March 13. FPUC is not payable with respect to any week during the gap in applicability, that is, the week ending July 31 through the week ending December 26.

The Maine Department of Labor urges claimants who are still unemployed and receiving benefits under federal programs to continue to file weekly certifications, even though they may see no active claim on their claim summary screen temporarily. Having weekly certifications already on file will ensure that payments can be made to eligible individuals as soon as the federal changes are implemented.

Based on federal guidance, the first payable week of the PUA and PEUC extension is the week ending January 2. While there will be no break in benefit accrual or eligibility, there may be a brief break in benefit payment for some claimants.

Maine DOL will first process benefits, as well as the $300 FPUC, for people who were actively filing and receiving PUA/PEUC when the programs ended on December 26 and who had not yet fully drawn the benefits for those programs.

Federal guidance can be found by visiting tinyurl.com/y9ybtko6.

Updates will be posted to maine.gov/unemployment.