6:00: Morning News

Thousands of state residents to benefit from extension of unemployment benefits

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Anyone still on unemployment because of the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible for the 11 weeks of additional unemployment benefits which include an extra $300 a week in benefits.

Scott Adkins

“If you’re getting any kind of unemployment you’re going to also qualify for the $300 per week for 11 weeks ending the week of March 13th,” WorkForce West Virginia Acting Commissioner Scott Adkins during an appearance Tuesday on MetroNews “Talkline.”

The extension is part of the latest stimulus package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump Sunday.

Adkins said the 11-week extension begins this weekend but he’s not yet sure if the rollout will be ready to go. WorkForce West Virginia is waiting on guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor. Adkins said if the rollout happens after this weekend there will be payments to get recipients caught up.

The extension will impact thousands of residents who remain unemployed, Adkins said.

“If you exhausted your benefits some time in 2020 after March 15 you’re going to be eligible, provided you meet the criteria, for an extra 11 weeks (of benefits),” he said.

Adkins said it won’t take that long to get things going because much of the information gathered from the COVID-19 unemployed earlier this year in connection with the CARES Act will be used again.

“Basically what we’re doing is extending the benefits that were provided by the CARES Act. We’re going to roll those out pretty quick,” Adkins said.

He stresses there’s no need to reapply.

“If you reapply and put multiple applications in our system it’s going to put a hold on your claim and it’s going to take us some time to get through it,” he said.

According to WorkForce West Virginia, the programs impacted include:

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.

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.
WorkForce West Virginia will provide updates as received from the U.S. Department of Labor.





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