VEC releases timeline for implementing renewed unemployment benefits programs

VEC releases timeline for implementing renewed unemployment benefits programs
On Wednesday the VEC released new information on now the unemployment benefits programs under the second CARES Act would be implemented. (Source: NBC12)

HENRICO Co., Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) has released new information on when extended and enhanced unemployment benefits will begin to rollout.

On Dec. 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the second COVID-19 relief bill into law. Under the “Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act of 2020” section of the law, it outlines how states should move forward with implementing unemployment benefits through the second relief package at the guidance of the U.S. Department of Labor.

According to the VEC website, the PUA and PEUC programs are in the process of being reinstated.

The hope is to have the benefits system for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) up and running by Friday, Jan. 8.

“If you did not exhaust your 13 weeks of PEUC you will be allowed to claim additional weeks,” the VEC said.

The VEC is also working on programming the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits system and hopes to have that implemented by Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.

“If you did not exhaust your 39 weeks of PUA you will be allowed to claim additional weeks,” the VEC added.

Meanwhile all of the CARES Act unemployment compensation programs have been extended for an additional 11 weeks through March 13, 2021.

This includes the PUA and PEUC.

“If you exhausted the original 39 weeks, you will then be considered for an additional 11 weeks of PUA benefits under this legislation,” the VEC website stated. “The first payable week in this scenario would be for the week ending January 2, 2021.  Please be advised that we are working on programming our benefit systems to allow for these changes. The targeted implementation date is January 14, 2021.”

Additionally, the VEC provided information for individuals who exhausted their PEUC benefits.

“If you exhausted the original 13 weeks you will then be considered for an additional 11 weeks of PEUC benefits under this legislation,” the VEC website stated. “The first payable week in this scenario would be for the week ending January 2, 2021. Please be advised that we are working on programming our benefit systems to allow for these changes. The targeted implementation date is January 8, 2021.”

One big change under this COVID-19 relief package pertains to extra weekly benefits. Those receiving unemployment benefits will only be allotted $300 in extra weekly benefits instead of the $600 last year.

These benefits fall under the following programs:

  • Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

Additionally, there are changes to the PUA application which include:

  • PUA claimants to provide proof of employment or self-employment
  • State agencies to implement procedures to verify and validate the identity of PUA claimants to the extent reasonable

The VEC said the first payable week in this scenario would be for the week ending Jan. 2, 2021.

However, Deputy Commissioner William Walton said in late December Virginians may see a slight delay in receiving those benefits based on the implementation of the programs.

However, the VEC ensures you will be back paid for any delays that may occur as long as you keep filing weekly unemployment claims.

“Let’s say you claimed three weeks and then we have the programming in place, it will pay you for those three weeks all at one time,” Walton said.

For more information on these benefits, click here.

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