With the massive impact the COVID19 has made on the country great needs started emerging and the U.S. government needed to create a plan that would help citizens and legal permanent residents. On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act known as the (CARES Act) was approved and signed therefore offering approximately a $2 Trillion stimulus package. The CARES Act comes with several employment-related benefits that extends to current unemployment insurance programs allowing for more persons to become eligible and obtain greater benefits than present programs.
Framework of the CARES Act
The CARES Act takes into consideration the unemployment compensation system that is a cooperative state and federal program operated jointly by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and each individual state. Each state is authorized to make changes to the unemployment programs to grant extra benefits that pinpoint the extreme circumstances of the pandemic.
On April 2, 2020, The Department of Labor issued original guidelines to states pertaining to the new program rules and regulations, but terms of agreement and instruction from the federal government are still pending before the new benefits can be provided to beneficiaries.
On April 5, 2020, the Department of Labor provided supplemental advice to states concerning the execution of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.
A. Section 2102 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Offers eligibility to more applicants
If you are one of those workers that may not be eligible for unemployment reimbursement or other benefits through federal or state programs you will be covered under Section 2102 of the CARES Act, once you lose employment or become partially employed for any of the following reasons reviewed below.
Persons who might be eligible under the CARES Act are: Independent contractors, self-employed workers, individuals who may not have consistent work histories of employment to be eligible for state benefits, and workers looking for part-time employment. Once you have experienced loss of employment or a decrease in work hours due to circumstances beyond your control or are not be able to work from home and/or be able to work or be available to work as stated under the state law but for factual reasons particularly due to COVID19 reasons has affected you to not be able to work covering the following specifications:
- The employee or member of his or her family has tested positive for COVID-19
- The worker is the sole provider of that specific family member who has been infected with the COVID-19
- The employee is taking care of a child or children or other of the person for whom the worker is a chief caretaker whose care facility or school is closed due to the Coronavirus
- The worker is in self-isolation at the advice of a healthcare provider
- The date when he or she was supposed to start working has been halted because of COVID-19
- Due to the death of the head of the home the worker has become the sole breadwinner
- The worker’s employer has closed his premises because of the Coronavirus pandemic
The extension of benefits took into effect to losses starting on or after January 27, 2020 and persists all throughout December 31, 2020, with a limit of 39 weeks period of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits.
The guidance that was sent out (April 5, 2020) to all states provides examples and clarifications for each classification of COVID-19 related circumstances. These directions may make an individual eligible for PUA Compensations and its primary role deters and detects fraudulence when claiming unemployment benefits.
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