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Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) FAQs

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 provides for a temporary emergency increase in unemployment compensation (UC) benefits, referred to as the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program.

This program provides an eligible individual with $600 per week on top of the weekly benefit amount he or she receives from certain other UC programs.  An individual must first be eligible for UC or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits to qualify for the additional $600 per week in benefits.

Individuals don't need to do anything extra to receive the $600. Continue to file biweekly claims – benefits will be automatically updated.  

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When do I start getting the extra $600 a week?

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Beginning the week that ends April 4, 2020 and all eligible weeks through July 25, 2020, individuals will receive the extra $600 FPUC for all weeks they receive UC or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.

UC claimants should now be receiving the FPUC payments, which are paid approximately one week after regular UC benefits are paid. Once the PUA Program is making payments, FPUC payments will be made retroactively for any backdated weeks of benefits for weeks ending April 4, 2020 and later. The $600 per week will be separate payments from your bi-weekly benefit. 

I already filed a bi-weekly claim for past weeks, do I still get the extra $600?  When will I receive it?

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Individuals will receive the $600 FPUC for all weeks they receive unemployment and PUA, beginning the week that ends on April 4, 2020, and all eligible weeks through July 25, 2020. This includes individuals who have been filing for unemployment.

UC claimants should now be receiving the FPUC payments, which are paid approximately one week after regular UC benefits are paid. Once the PUA Program is making payments, FPUC payments will be made retroactively for any backdated weeks of benefits for weeks ending April 4, 2020 and later. The $600 per week will be  separate payments from your bi-weekly benefit. 

It says I get an extra $600 a week, but I file a bi-weekly claim and receive benefits for two weeks at a time.  How will that work?

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The $600 will be paid weekly and will be a separate payment from your bi-weekly benefit.  

I'm not usually eligible for UC but am now eligible because of expansions to UC.  Do I get the extra $600 a week?

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Yes, all individuals who are eligible and receive regular UC or PUA will receive the $600 FPUC per week.

Will the extra $600 a week affect my eligibility for public assistance programs?

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The extra $600 FPUC per week will not affect eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP. 

Please note that the extra $600 FPUC per week will affect eligibility for SNAP. 

We are still awaiting guidance on any effects FPUC may have on other forms of public assistance, including  TANF. 

How long will the extra $600 a week be available?

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Once implemented, the $600 FPUC payments will be backdated to all eligible weeks for which individuals claim UC or PUA beginning the week ending April 4, 2020 and will be paid for all eligible weeks claimed through July 25, 2020.

My job reduced my hours and I am collecting UC or will be filing for UC.  Am I eligible for the extra $600 a week?

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Yes. All individuals collecting regular UC or PUA are eligible for the $600 per week. 

My employer offered me my job back, but I would make more staying on Unemployment.  Can I do this?

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No. If you are offered work by your employer and refuse to accept it, without good cause, you may no longer be eligible for UC. Determining whether there was good cause for a refusal of work is driven by the facts of each claimant’s circumstances. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, if an employee refuses to return to work because they are at high risk of complications from the virus and their employer cannot make reasonable accommodations for them, or if they were being asked to return to work at reduced hours that result in them earning less than they did before the pandemic, UC staff would review those specific reasons and make determinations based on the facts of their individual cases. 
 
If you do return to work at reduced hours, and this results in a reduced weekly income compared to your weekly income prior to filing for UC, you may be eligible for partial UC plus the $600 FPUC per week.

Do I have to pay taxes on the extra $600?

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Yes, FPUC is taxable and will be subject to 10% Federal Withholding Tax, if you elected to have taxes withheld from your regular UC or PUA benefits. For information about changing your election visit our Taxes on Benefits page.