Federal Unemployment Insurance Extension FAQ
Federal Unemployment Insurance Extension – August 13, 2020
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order allowing states to opt into a program extending federal unemployment insurance benefits.
Governor Mike Dunleavy has approved the State of Alaska’s participation in the new program.
How will eligible Unemployment Insurance (UI) recipients be impacted?
Eligible UI recipients currently receiving at least $100 in state funded benefits will see a $300 increase in their weekly payment. If a filer has one or more dependents, the additional funding for those dependents will be included in the eligibility calculation.
Will claimants receive the additional benefits if their state benefit is less than $100?
No. Alaska’s participation in the program requires a 25% match or the equivalent of $100 in a recipient’s current state benefit. Individuals who are currently receiving a state funded benefit less than $100 will continue to receive that amount during the period of their UI eligibility, but they will not be eligible for the additional $300.
Will PUA beneficiaries be eligible for the $300 payment?
Despite early indications to the contrary from USDOL and FEMA, the State of Alaska is working with its’ federal partners to create maximum flexibility so that coverage can be extended to eligible PUA filers.
How long will it take to get the new program up and running?
The State of Alaska is required to submit an application for the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for 75% of program costs. The application period and implementation of the new program are expected to take approximately 6 to 8 weeks.
Once the program is in place, how long will it last?
Approximately 6 weeks. The federal funding for the program is being made available through the FEMA budget. Once funds for the Unemployment Insurance expansion are exhausted, the State program will end.
Will Congress make additional adjustments to Unemployment Insurance?
Several proposals to extend UI benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic were introduced recently in Congress. An agreement on a new extension was not reached prior to the August recess. It is anticipated that Congress will take up the issue again when session resumes.
If Congress agrees to an extension, how will the additional $300 payment be impacted?
The FEMA backed program will end.