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$ 2400 per month extra: federal aid that many are unaware of

While many Americans are eagerly awaiting the next round of financial support, and the House of Representatives has voted to pass the $ 3 trillion HEROES law, there is a tendency to forget that the CARES law provided many Americans with a benefit of $ 2400 per month, writes Forbes.

Photo: Shutterstock

Amid official unemployment rates of 14,7%, millions of Americans were left without a livelihood as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them are eligible for unemployment benefits under the CARES Act, and compared to it, a check for $ 1200 is modest.

This benefit is known as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and provides up to $ 600 per week ($ 2400 for a four week month) in addition to unemployment benefits in your state. The payments are structured under two programs:

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) is in effect from March 29, 2020 to July 31, 2020 and will bring in $ 600 in excess of the weekly benefit.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is valid from March 29, 2020 to December 31, 2020 and adds 13 additional weeks on top of the 26 weeks of initial payments.

In general, an unemployed US resident can receive benefits for up to 39 weeks - $ 23 for support for 400 months. That's an average of $ 9 per month if you want to receive full benefits for the entire term.

Some states do not provide unemployment insurance for self-employed, independent contractors, or gigonomics workers, but the PUA program does.

On the subject: More than a salary: what help do those who lose their jobs due to a pandemic get in the US

Who is eligible for benefits?

Eligibility varies by state. The main two rules are that you became unemployed through no fault of your own and fulfilled the requirements for work and wages for the “base period” in which you received the right to benefits.

Some states allow you to receive unemployment insurance benefits if your working hours are reduced. you can use government websiteto find links to your state’s programs, as well as online and telephone data.

The standard base period is 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters prior to the application date. The maximum weekly payout is $ 430. The alternate base period is the last 4 calendar quarters and the maximum benefit is still $ 430.

Who is not eligible for payments

If you get other benefits, such as sick leave, or you can work remotely, you are not eligible for extra help. In these situations, you are not eligible for state unemployment benefits. Generally, if you are eligible for state benefits, you are eligible for a PUA.

When can I claim a PUA?

In many cases, you are not eligible for state unemployment insurance, but you can apply for a PUA.

Here is a partial list of situations:

  • You should have started work, but could not do it because of COVID-19;
  • you had a job offer that was canceled;
  • You are self-employed, an independent contractor, or a worker in a state that does not offer benefits for these groups;
  • You do not have enough seniority to apply for state benefits;
  • You have exhausted your state benefits.
  • you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or you were forced to self-isolate as a result of contact with the patient;
  • You are caring for a family member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • You cannot work because your children cannot attend school or kindergarten.

How much do you pay in PUA?

Unlike state unemployment benefits, which are calculated on the basis of earnings and employment, PUA payments are the same if you meet the criteria.

PUA is one of your state’s benefits.

As a rule, states do not pay unemployment benefits while they process your application, and the waiting period is one week. This waiting period has been effectively lifted by the CARES Act, so you will immediately begin to receive benefits.

On the subject: Financial assistance in connection with the coronavirus: why the check may come for a smaller amount than you expected

How to apply for a PUA

You can apply through the website that applies for unemployment insurance in your state, even if you are not eligible for unemployment benefits. Your staff will process the application and make the necessary payments.

You may be asked to submit documents confirming the declared income. Be prepared to show your annual tax return, forms 1099, W-2, payment receipts, and any other documents supporting your application.

Remember that unemployment benefits are considered taxable income.

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