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$600 Unemployment payment expires soon

As businesses begin to reopen and many workers return to work, one of the main provisions of the CARES Act is set to expire on July 31, 2020. Created as a short-term benefit, federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program provides all individuals who receive state unemployment benefits an additional $600 per week for up to four months, funded by the federal government will expire “on or before July 31, 2020.”

The House of Representatives passed an extension of the FPUC benefit in the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act; however, the bill has faced strong opposition in the Senate, which, it is argued, is a disincentive for recipients to return to work when businesses reopen.

Although the FPUC benefit expires this month, the expanded benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program are in effect until December 31, 2020. The PUA also provides workers who are ineligible for regular state unemployment benefits (e.g., independent contractors) unemployment benefits funded by the federal government.

Moreover, employees may be eligible for benefits under California’s partial benefit program. This program is for employees whose employers want to retain them, despite a current lack of work. The employer must complete a “Notice of Reduced Earnings” form and the employee must fill out part of the form.

By applying for benefits through this program, an employee doesn’t have to show that he or she is able and available to work and looking for other work. Because the situation is supposed to be temporary and the employer wants to keep the employee, the employee isn’t obligated to conduct a job search.

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