Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) under the CARES Act

The CARES Act includes a provision that provides for up to an additional 13 weeks of regular/traditional unemployment insurance benefits to those who have exhausted their eligibility. This provision will apply to claims with a benefit year ending date on or after July 6, 2019.

To be eligible for a week of PEUC an individual must:

  • Have exhausted all rights to regular compensation under the applicable state or Federal law with respect to the applicable benefit year;
  • Have no rights to regular compensation with respect to a week under such law or any other state or Federal UC law;
  • Certify that he or she is not receiving compensation with respect to such week under the UC law of Canada; and
  • Be able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work. (flexibility will be considered for this requirement given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19)

The Virginia Employment Commission is working to establish this new enhancement to the unemployment insurance program. We will notify claimants who are potentially eligible for PEUC benefits based on their previous unemployment insurance claim. There are some facts surrounding the PEUC program that should be noted:

  • The first payable week under PEUC is the week beginning March 29, 2020 and ending April 4, 2020. (Additional information concerning the process to claim the PEUC benefits will be forthcoming soon.)
  • The federal pandemic unemployment compensation (FPUC) program will automatically add an additional $600 to the weekly benefit amount under the PEUC claim.
  • The last payable week of PEUC will be the week ending December 26, 2020.
  • The last payable week of FPUC (the additional $600 supplement) will be the week ending July 25, 2020.
  • The PEUC & FPUC benefits are taxable.