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Federal CARES Act

What you need to know and do about the federal CARES Act

The federal CARES Act was signed into law March 27, 2020. The Act provides enhanced Unemployment Compensation (UC) benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for Pennsylvanians. 

For specific details, read our Notice of CARES Act Programs Potentially Available to You.

This law provides: 

​Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) - Additional Benefits
An additional $600 per week, on top of regular benefits, to all UC recipients through July 25.  

Notice about FPUC Benefits Ending July 25:

The federal government created and funds the $600 weekly FPUC payment and will be ending these payments.  Under the federal requirement, the claim week ending July 25, 2020, will be the last $600 FPUC payment claimants will receive.  

If claimants are still awaiting payment for any claim weeks from April 4 through July 25, they will receive all FPUC payments for which they are eligible, even if payments for those weeks are not made until after July 25, 2020.

For all claims filed for weeks ending after July 25, claimants will continue to receive their weekly benefit amount.  Weekly Benefit Rates and additional information about PUA benefit rates are available.

Additional Resources

If you are concerned about making ends meet when the $600 weekly FPUC payments end, help is available. 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) - Self-Employed, Contractors
Expanded eligibility for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for UC benefits (e.g., self-employed workers, independent contractors)
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) - For UC Benefit Exhaustees
An additional 13 weeks of UC benefits, beyond the regular 26 weeks already provided, for a total of 39 weeks of coverage.
The federal CARES Pennsylvania Guidance one-pager includes information on what you need to know and do. 

Here’s what you need to know about these benefits:

Federal CARES Process Map Image - text below with information

Download a print version of the Federal CARES Process map.

If you have already been approved for UC benefits, here is what you should do:

  • Do nothing – your benefits will automatically be updated. DO NOT CALL, it will only make it difficult for other to reach an agent.
What you may qualify to receive under FPUC
  • An additional $600/week until July 25, 2020 (beginning April 4, 2020)

If you are NOT traditionally eligible for UC benefits, you may be eligible for PUA, here's what you should do:

  • You should first try to file for regular unemployment
  • If you are denied or ineligible, then apply for PUA online.
What you may qualify to receive
  • 39 weeks of PUA benefits
  • An additional $600/week until July 25, 2020 (beginning April 4, 2020)

If you’ve exhausted 26 weeks of benefits after July 6, 2019, here's what you should do:

  • Individuals whose unemployment benefit year has expired. Your benefit year expires one year (52 weeks) after your regular unemployment application for benefits date.  Apply for PEUC online.
  •  Individuals who are still within their unemployment benefit year do NOT need to apply. Once you receive the balance of your regular unemployment benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in the PEUC program for the additional 13 weeks of benefits.
What you may qualify to receive
  • 13 weeks of benefits
  • An additional $600/week until July 25, 2020 (beginning April 4, 2020)

The guidance from this document is subject to change.
Last updated: July 2, 2020