Expanded federal UI benefits to end September 6

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Expanded federal UI benefits to end September 6

Fri, 08/20/2021 - 2:31pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Labor is reminding claimants the federal expansion of unemployment insurance benefits created under the CARES Act will end September 6, 2021. This includes Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).

The Department will be increasing outreach and assistance to help claimants transition into the workforce or find training or educational opportunities.

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As of the week ending August 14, there are 14,850 people on regular UI benefits or one of the federal pandemic UI benefits plans. At $300 a week, the federal stipend goes to all claimants and comes to an additional $4.5 million a week for Vermont. This is taxable income.

“The federal CARES Act programs played an important role in providing temporary assistance to make sure Vermont workers were supported during a time of great uncertainty throughout the last seventeen months” said Commissioner Michael Harrington. “Since March 2020, the Department has issued over 2.3 million unique benefit payments to more than 100,000 Vermonters totaling over $1.7 billion.”

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The week that ends September 4 will mark the final week for CARES Act programs. This means claimants will collect their final CARES Act benefits the week of September 5 - 10, when they file their weekly claim – for those in PUA and PEUC, this will be their last weekly claim.

The conclusion of the federal program will affect the roughly 9,700 claimants filing in PUA and PEUC who will no longer be eligible to file for benefits. This will also affect the 5,200 claimants currently in regular unemployment insurance (those in their initial 26 weeks of filing) but to a different degree.

Those individuals on regular UI will continue to collect benefits as they are eligible under regular unemployment, but they will no longer see the FPUC supplement, which provided the additional $300 per week.

“As these federal programs end, we know we have more work to do. The Department, and especially our Workforce Development team, are already connecting with claimants and employers to help people get back into the workforce and minimize the impact of this change in benefits”, said Harrington.

The Department has continued to connect with unemployment insurance claimants through direct email and phone outreach to provide information on how the end of federal benefits will impact them, as well as what workforce development support services are available to assist them with re-employment.

Workforce Development team members are located at Job Centers now open for expanded hours across the state and are available for both virtual and in-person career consultations.

Local career specialists can assist jobseekers in finding career and training opportunities, as well as employers looking for talent through job promotion, hiring events, and applicant referrals.

Local and statewide teams continue to hold weekly virtual workshops and events, including sessions on resume writing, re-employment strategies, and virtual job fairs. Learn more at Labor.Vermont.gov/Jobs

Meanwhile, the weekly unemployment claims continue at typically low summer levels, with regular initial claims up 32 to 344, which is 379 fewer than the same time last year.

Overall, regular UI claims (initial and ongoing) are down 25,441 to 5,244. When the federal pandemic programs are included, claims are down by 28,489 to 14,959.

For more information on the Department of Labor, including additional details on the impact of the end of CARES Act programs and resources available to those impacted, please visit Labor.Vermont.gov.

Source: VTDOL 8.6.2021. 8.14.2021