As detailed in our prior alert, the CARES Act significantly expands existing state unemployment benefits, providing coverage to those not traditionally eligible who are unable to work as a direct result of COVID-19 (the temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program), and granting an enhanced benefit of $600 per week to all workers eligible for unemployment compensation, whether under state law or through the PUA program.

State agencies are working to revamp their unemployment programs in accordance with the CARES Act, though reports of their systems being overwhelmed abound. Indeed, each state must develop a new application and processes to govern applications for benefits under the PUA program. Pennsylvania recently released the PUA application, but early reports indicate there are errors in the system that the state is working to fix. 

To learn more about how the states are responding to the expansion in unemployment benefits brought on by the CARES Act, select the state of interest from the alerts posted in the Unemployment Compensation section of this Resource Center (under Labor & Employment).

The attorneys in Ballard Spahr’s Labor and Employment Group are closely monitoring the executive orders and legislative changes issued around the country regarding unemployment benefits and can assist employers in understanding the new measures and with educating their current and former employees about their eligibility for benefits. To view legislation adopted in other states around the nation, please visit our State Legislative Tracker in the Ballard Spahr COVID-19 Resource Center.

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