When can unemployed New Yorkers expect federal unemployment benefits?

Posted at 2:47 PM, Dec 29, 2020

NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that unemployed New Yorkers will begin receiving extended and expanded federal unemployment benefits next week, the first week of the new year.

Next week is the first week the benefits can be paid under federal law and the governor's office says New Yorkers will receive the benefits immediately due to proactive work by the New York State Department of Labor in preparation of the extension of unemployment programs originally included in the CARES Act. Those programs were set to expire at the end of 2020.

The programs extended include:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance - provides benefits for those not covered by traditional state unemployment insurance.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation - provides additional weeks of benefits after an individual exhausts the 26 weeks of state unemployment insurance.
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation - provides all New Yorkers receiving unemployment benefits an additional $300 weekly payment.

"This pandemic has created an unprecedented economic crisis, and New Yorkers have waited in uncertainty for far too long. I have repeatedly called on the federal government to do the right thing by renewing critical benefits to support millions of unemployed families through to the end of this pandemic - and now that Washington has finally acted, New York is immediately delivering those funds," said Cuomo. " In the spring, New York led the nation in implementing federal unemployment programs, and this winter we will once again act swiftly to get money in the hands of New Yorkers who need it most."

The federal government has extended federal unemployment benefits for an additional 11 weeks, through March 14, 2021.

The governor's office says New Yorkers currently receiving benefits do not need to call the NYSDOL to receive the extended benefits. They should continue to certify for unemployment benefits in their usual manner and will automatically receive the extended benefits. If your unemployment year has ended, the governor's office says you should reapply online.

More details on the extensions are provided by the state below:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance - New Yorkers can now receive up to 57 weeks of PUA benefits, with the program extended from the week ending January 3, 2021 through March 14, 2021. New Yorkers currently receiving PUA should continue to certify as usual and will continue to receive their benefits. According to the Federal government, additional eligibility documentation will be required beginning January 31, 2021. The Department of Labor will directly contact claimants who need to provide additional documentation.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation - New Yorkers can now receive up to 24 weeks of PEUC (up from the 13 weeks originally authorized in the spring) with the program extended through March 14, 2021. New Yorkers who have exhausted the 26 weeks of state unemployment insurance should continue to certify as normal and will automatically receive up to 24 weeks of PEUC. Individuals who previously exhausted the original 13 weeks of PEUC and transitioned to the Extended Benefits program will begin receiving extended PEUC benefits after they exhaust their EB benefits. The Department of Labor will automatically handle these program transfers.
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation - New Yorkers' FPUC benefits will resume the week ending January 3, 2021 and will last for eleven weeks. During that time, all New Yorkers who are receiving unemployment benefits — including traditional state UI, Shared Work Benefits, PEUC, EB, or PUA — will receive an additional $300 payment per week. Per federal guidelines, FPUC benefits will not be backdated, and can only be provided starting the week ending January 3, 2021.

The governor's office says some New Yorkers may be eligible for an additional $100 per week through the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program.

"MEUC benefits are provided for individuals who earned at least $5,000 a year in self-employment income but are disqualified from receiving more substantial PUA benefits because they may be eligible for traditional state UI. New York has signed an agreement with the US DOL to offer MEUC benefits and is currently awaiting additional guidance from the Federal government on implementing the program. The Department of Labor will provide more details as they become available."