Coronavirus Aid, Relief, And Economic Security Act: Expanded Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act: Expanded Unemployment Insurance Benefits


On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a nearly $2 trillion economic stimulus package, was signed into law. A provision of the CARES Act, the Relief for Workers Affected by the Coronavirus Act, expands unemployment insurance benefits. These benefits include:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program. The PUA Program provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to workers who are unemployed or unable to work due to COVID-19. The program will be in effect through December 31, 2020.
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) Program. Individuals who regularly qualify for unemployment, as well as those who qualify for PUA, can receive an additional $600 per week for up to 4 months under the PUC Program. The program will be in effect until July 31, 2020.
  • Funding to Pay One-Week Waiting Period. For states, like Minnesota, that have waived the standard one-week waiting period and are paying recipients as soon as they become unemployed, the federal government will fund the cost of first week payments through December 31, 2020.
  • Pandemic Emergency Compensation Program. Through December 31, 2020, the Pandemic Emergency Compensation Program provides federal funding for up to 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits per year for individuals who have exhausted all other benefits; have no right to regular compensation; and are able, available, and actively seeking work. In Minnesota, the maximum amount of unemployment benefits is 26 weeks, this means eligible individuals can qualify for a total of 39 weeks of unemployment benefits at a weekly rate of $600 during the extended 13-week period.
  • Funding for Short-Time Compensation Programs. Additional funding is available to states that have, or will implement, certain workshare programs for employees.
  • Reimbursements for Non-Profits, Government Agencies, and Indian Tribes. Through December 31, 2020, federal funds are being allocated to reimburse half of the costs non-profits, government agencies, and Indian tribes incur by paying unemployment benefits.

Parker Daniels Kibort has one of the top labor and employment practices in the State of Minnesota. For more information on this topic or for help with related inquiries, contact the Parker Daniels Kibort labor and employment team at 612.355.4100.