MONTGOMERY - The Alabama Department of Labor is currently reviewing the CARES Act unemployment extension provisions contained in H.R. 133. The resolution has been passed by both houses of Congress and now awaits the president’s signature.
“These provisions will bring additional unemployment compensation to tens of thousands of Alabamians,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “This much needed relief will help those who remain out of work due to the pandemic. I’d like to thank Congress for their work to help these Alabamians who need it so much.”
ADOL is currently awaiting additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor on how to implement these CARES Act extensions in Alabama, and it cannot begin paying benefits under these new and extended programs until that guidance has been received. While the Department does not expect delays related to technology, it will take some time to receive and implement guidance and regulations from the federal government.
The resolution also includes new requirements to qualify to receive benefits from the federal programs outlined within the act:
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
- Will provide up to 11 weeks of an additional $300 weekly benefit to eligible claimants.
- A claimant must be eligible through a separate unemployment program to receive FPUC.
- Once implemented, FPUC will be available to cover weeks of unemployment between Dec. 27, 2020 and week ending March 13, 2021.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
- Will provide up to an additional 11 weeks of benefits, to a maximum of 50 weeks.
- Weekly certification will be required.
- Claimants will be required to provide documentation of eligibility to qualify for PUA beginning Jan. 31, 2021.
- PUA will be available until week ending March 13, 2021 (no new applications after that date), with allowance for three additional weeks of benefits for those who have not reached the maximum number of weeks through week ending April 3, 2021.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
- Will provide up to an additional 11 weeks of benefits, to a maximum of 24 weeks.
- PEUC will be available until week ending March 13, 2021 (no new applications after that date), with allowance of three additional weeks of benefits for those who have not reached the maximum number of weeks through week ending April 3, 2021.
Also included in the legislation:
Return to Work Requirements
- States must have methods in place to address claimants who refuse to return to work or refuse to accept an offer of suitable work without good cause.
The extensions are scheduled to begin on Dec. 27 and the weeks following. There is no provision for retroactive weeks. Claimants should continue their weekly certifications as usual so that when ADOL begins issuing payments there will be no missing weeks.