Federal unemployment benefits to expire in one month

Coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Several federal unemployment insurance programs are set to expire on Sept. 4 which will affect tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders, according to The R.I. Department of Labor and Training (DLT).

The following federal programs, which were created in response to the economic shutdown caused by the pandemic, will be ending per federal law:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): PUA expanded benefits to those who are not normally eligible for unemployment insurance (UI), such as independent contractors, small business owners, and people out of work due to COVID-19 related illness or quarantine.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): PEUC extended benefits to claimants who have exhausted their maximum of 26 weeks of regular UI benefits.
  • $300 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC): FPUC provides an additional $300 per week on top of a claimant’s weekly unemployment benefit amount.

In the Ocean State, the DLT says more than 75% of unemployment claimants — more than 40,000 people — are currently on either PUA or PEUC.

The remaining 25% who will still be eligible under regular UI will lose the additional $300 per week that is currently added to all payments, the DLT added.

Rhode Island offers several free resources to help residents get back to work before their benefits end. You can visit EmployRI.org or you can visit BacktoWorkRI.com to make a free virtual appointment with a job coach, get career recommendations, enroll in job trainings, and connect directly with employers through virtual job fairs.

The DLT added that regular unemployment benefits will continue to be paid to eligible claimants under state law.

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