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Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) news updates for Friday, April 24th:
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- [CALIFORNIA]: “workers will be eligible for a minimum $167 a week (for up to 39 weeks) plus an additional $600 a week through July 25. In a sign of how many workers are expected to flood the new program, California’s unemployment office said it “will likely rival the size of the regular UI program the EDD already administers.” Roughly 26 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the five weeks through April 18, erasing all the jobs created in the decade since the Great Recession. Of course, receiving an award letter for $0 doesn’t mean workers will necessarily be eligible to collect unemployment through the new PUA framework…” [FULL ARTICLE]
- [ARIZONA]: “Arizona plans to open a new system by mid-May to handle unemployment benefit applications from ride-hailing drivers, the self-employed and other groups of newly jobless workers who were previously ineligible for benefits, the state’s social-service agency announced Friday…” [FULL ARTICLE]
- [ARKANSAS]: “170,000 people have now filed for unemployment in Arkansas.Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston announced the new numbers today. He also said the pandemic unemployment assistance program for the self-employed and gig workers will be running by the end of the month…” [FULL ARTICLE]
- [WYOMING]: ” “The Department of Workforce Services’ Unemployment Insurance division is working around the clock to get benefits to those who have been unable to work due to the coronavirus,” said Holly McKamey Simoni, Workforce Programs Administrator for the agency. The CARES Act benefits require additional programming of the agency’s UI system, Simoni said, an effort that is ongoing. “Right now our priority is getting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits to self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and others not normally eligible for UI benefits,” she said. “We understand the urgency for folks, and we are working diligently to get benefits paid as quickly as possible.” …”
- [NEBRASKA]: “Over 67,000 more people filed for unemployment in Colorado last week, bringing the total number of new applications for the last month to just over 279,000, the state labor department said Thursday. The number of new unemployment applications last week was less than the 104,217 new claims reported during the previous week. However, self-employed and gig workers and others not previously able to collect unemployment benefits were only allowed to start filing claims on Monday and are not included in the latest official count. About 51,000 people filed for benefits under that application through Wednesday but just over 10,000 will have to file for regular unemployment and exhaust those benefits first because they had some regular earnings…” [FULL ARTICLE]
- [MARYLAND]: “A new online portal meant to ease Maryland’s overwhelmed system for unemployment claims was itself overwhelmed and crashed when it opened on Friday morning. Users trying to access Maryland’s Beacon One-Stop site said they were unable to log in, instead getting error messages or pages that refused to load. “People waited until Friday,” one unemployed worker, Kenny Brannon, 49, said of the site that state officials had been touting. “And now they’re totally disappointed.” Gov. Larry Hogan said Friday afternoon that the site had been fixed although glitches remained. And indeed complaints continued about the site, which for the first time was supposed to allow groups such as the self-employed and gig workers to file unemployment claims online as those in more conventional jobs had been doing…” [FULL ARTICLE]
- [COLORADO]: “Comparing this economic downturn to the Great Recession of 2009-10, weekly average of benefits paid was $19 million and highest monthly total on record was May 2009, which was $102.8 million. “It’s just a bad situation for everyone,” Conklin said. CDLE staff said Thursday applicants should choose direct deposit over a debit card to speed up when they receive their benefits. They also warned that a request from Experian is not a credit check, but one for identity to avoid fraud. If someone opts out, it will create a delay. Call volume could decrease as more claims are processed so officials say people should keep trying to call…”