Unemployment Insurance Program
CARES Act Unemployment Benefits Expansion Package
The federal government recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, legislation that will address the dramatic economic crisis brought on by COVID19, click here to review the federally funded unemployment benefits expansions.
- Unemployment Insurance Program Letter
The federal Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance to the states in its publication of Unemployment Insurance Program Letter (UIPL) 17-20. The UIPL provides further guidance to states as they implement the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), including the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program.
While greater direction is provided to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) for payment of benefits, the guidance also reflects the need for attention to fraud and integrity by IDES and other state agencies responsible for unemployment insurance. IDES has indicated that it expects to have the PEUC program fully implemented the week of April 20th. PEUC is potentially available for weeks beginning on or after March 29, 2020 and continuing through the week ending December 26, 2020. PEUC will be retroactive once implemented.
Under PEUC, states can provide up to 13 weeks of federally funded benefits to qualified individuals who:
- have exhausted all rights to regular compensation under state law or Federal law with respect to a benefit year that ended on or after July 1, 2019;
- have no rights to regular compensation with respect to a week under any other state UC law or Federal UC law, or to compensation under any other Federal law;
- are not receiving compensation with respect to a week under the UC law of Canada; and
- are able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work, although states must offer flexibility on “actively seeking work” where there are COVID-19 impacts and constraints.
The cost of PEUC benefits is 100% federally funded. States may not charge employers for any PEUC benefits paid. Implementation costs and ongoing administrative costs are also 100% federally funded.