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Kansas reviewing what CARES Act extension means for the unemployed

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) says it is currently looking into the unemployment extension provisions contained in H.R. 133.

If President Donald Trump signs the legislation, the provisions would provide additional unemployment compensation to unemployed Kansans who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The provisions also include the unemployed to meet new requirements.

KDOL is waiting for guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). That could take up to two weeks.

This does not affect existing programs and payments. KDOL says that, in the meantime, it is still working to build additional capacity within its computer systems to process revised federal benefits.

The KDOL says the relevant programs and changes include:

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
* Will provide up to 11 weeks of an additional $300 weekly benefit to eligible claimants.
* A claimant must be eligible through a separate unemployment program to receive FPUC.
* The weeks ending Jan. 2, 2021 through March 13, 2021, are eligible for FPUC. Once the program is implemented, claimants who are eligible for those weeks will receive an additional $300 payment.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
* Will provide up to an additional 11 weeks of benefits, to a maximum of 50 weeks.
* PUA will be available until the week ending March 13, 2021 (no new applications beyond that date), with allowance for three additional weeks of benefits for those who have not reached the maximum number of weeks through the week ending April 3, 2021.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
* Will provide up to an additional 11 weeks of benefits, to a maximum of 24 weeks.
* PEUC will be available until the week ending March 13, 2021 (no new applications beyond that date), with allowance of three additional weeks of benefits for those who have not reached the maximum number of weeks through the week ending April 3, 2021.

The legislation also includes:

Return to Work Requirements. States must have methods in place to address claimants who refuse to return to work or refuse to accept an offer of suitable work without good cause.

Identity Verification Requirements. States must also implement additional identity verification measures within the PUA program.

KDOL says it will update the public as it gets new information.

Since March 15, KDOL has paid out more than 3.4 million weekly claims.

If you need to file for unemployment benefits, go to GetKansasBenefits.gov.

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