Division E – Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers

COVID-19, HEROES ActDivision E – Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers

Budget & Tax,  | Analysis
May 13, 2020  | 5 min read | Print Article

The Act Extends Provisions of the CARES Act

The HEROS Act extends several unemployment benefit programs included in the CARES Act, most through January 31, 2021. It also provides phase-out provisions for individuals eligible to receive benefits beyond January 31, ending by March 31, 2021. Like the CARES Act, the HEROES Act does not appropriate specific dollar amounts for these programs.

Section 50001: extends the $600 monthly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) supplemental unemployment benefit to state and federal benefits through January 31, 2021. It includes a transition rule for individuals already receiving regular state unemployment benefits on January 31st to continue receiving the FPUC supplement until their state benefits expire, but not beyond March 31, 2021. Section 50001 also prevents federal programs, and any state or local programs which receive any federal funding, from including FPUC payments when calculating income for the purposes of determining eligibility for benefits or assistance. Additionally, it discounts FPUC payments from calculating resource limits for nine months following receipt.

Section 50002: extends Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits (PUA) through January 31, 2021 for workers who do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation. Workers would be able to apply for PUA through January 31, 2021. Individuals would receive any of benefits after January 31st to which they were entitled but not beyond March 31, 2021.

Section 50003: extends the Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides 13 additional weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who have exhausted other benefits, through January 31, 2021. Workers would be able to apply for PEUC through January 31, 2021, and to receive the full 13 weeks so long as they are for weeks ending no later than March 31, 2021.

Section 50004: the HEROES Act also continues funding several smaller benefit programs that fill gaps in existing state programs. This section extends federal funding to states which normally require individuals to wait one week before receiving unemployment benefits and extends the CARES Act provisions that reimbursed states which waived their “waiting week” for the first week of regular unemployment compensation through January 31, 2021.

Section 50005: extends federal financial relief provided to reimbursable employers in the CARES Act through January 31, 2021 and makes technical corrections necessary to ensure that states can simply waive 50 percent of the amount owed by such employers.

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Section 50006: provides flexibility to states to use the most readily available sources of income verification for PUA applicants, including data collected from mobile apps.

The Act also extends provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Section 50007: extends interest-free loans made to states under that Act by six months through June 30, 2021.The Families First Coronavirus Response Act increased federal reimbursement for extended unemployment compensation (EB) from 50 percent to 100 percent for benefits provided through December 31, 2020.

Section 50008: extends the 100 percent reimbursement for benefits paid through June 30, 2021.

Section 50009: extends the period during which payments made under state law for Short-Time Compensation programs were 100 percent federally reimbursable through January 31, 2021.

Section 50010: extends the 50 percent reimbursement for Short-Time Compensation payments not made under a state law through January 31, 2021.

Section 50011: ensures that any state that enacts a short-time compensation (STC) law will receive full federal financing for all agreements in place after March 29, even if that agreement began before a new state STC law became effective.

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