The CARES Act and Four Benefits (Part Two)

It has been over three weeks since the President of the United States of America signed and publicly announced a health emergency relief for workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Soon after, the U.S. legislated their own measures stipulating that non-essential businesses nationwide close their doors with the hopes to contain the virus. In spite of all the preventative measures taken to avoid a swift contamination of the virus, most citizens and residents' lives have changed drastically. Although this bill covers different classifications and all who qualify, it is noted that the CARES Act extends to those in need of urgent financial assistance.

B. Section 2104 Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) Provides Weekly Increments

Workers who are eligible for unemployment benefits within a current state program or PUA will obtain an increment in their weekly compensation by a flat rate of $600 weekly regardless of the worker’s initial salary or benefit level.

For employees with minimum wages a benefit like this may cause their unemployment insurance reimbursement to be a greater recompense than their regular weekly payment from their employer. Receiving these benefits also mean that workers must be available at any time should their employers request that they present themselves for work as stated in the applicable state law. A worker can be disqualified from receiving benefits in the near future except if he or she has a motive related to the COVID-19 for not returning to his or her job. The PUA provision of the CARES Act has an anti-fraud stipulation that can deny future benefits and prosecute anyone for providing a false statement or fails to divulge a material fact.

When available, the PUA benefit will be accessible as a supplement to regular unemployment insurance benefits for the period of the worker’s eligibility, all through July 31, 2020.

C. Compensations are expanded for 13 weeks Under Section 2107 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

There is a timeframe (that expires until December 31, 2020) of approximately 13 weeks of unemployment benefits for persons who depleted all privileges to receive unemployment compensation and have the ability to work, are available to work, and are actively seeking work. States are required to be flexible to applicants so they can prove they are meeting the “actively seeking work” prerequisites. Case in point, granting benefits to individuals who cannot find work due to COVID-19.

D. Section 2108-2110 Promotes Use of Short-Time Compensation (STC)

The CARES Act advocates for the use of short-time compensation arrangements, often known as work share or share work arrangements. It is designed to prevent layoffs, encouraging employers to keep workers on limited work hours as a plan to avoid discharging employees. Workers who are on reduced work hours can then qualify for partial unemployment insurance compensations. Several states have that pre-current short-time compensation initiative. Those states are:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

These programs are supported by the CARES Act and it permits states to briefly execute a short-time compensation program so employers can have a substitute to layoffs during the pandemic so as to anticipate that it will simplify their potential to augment operations swiftly when it is safe to do so.

A reimbursement is given to a state for the total STC benefit costs by the federal government under the CARES Act so as to motivate the states that have or don’t have current STC programs; a period of 26 weeks is allotted for each individual. Through July 31, 2020, partial unemployment benefits paid to employees engaged in an STC program will be supplemented with the subsidiary fee of $600 benefit. During the timeframe of March 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020, federal reimbursements for normal benefits will be obtainable.

Need Legal Assistance

If you would like to know more about the benefits and which category you qualify for get the help of an attorney. Call The Gambacorta Law Office at 847-433-9303 to obtain the right information on what to apply for.