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Expansion of Unemployment Insurance: Changes under COVID-19

Extended Benefits

T + T

Summary

Extended Benefits are typically available to UI claimants who have exhausted regular unemployment insurance benefits during periods of high unemployment in their state. The weekly benefit amount is the same as the individual received for regular unemployment compensation.

During the COVID-19 pandemic regular UI claimants who have exhausted both their regular UI benefits and additional weeks under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits would be entitled to the Extended Benefits.

The Extended Benefit became available in NYS the benefit week ending July 5th, 2020 and currently provides up to 20 weeks of additional UI benefits in NYS.

Description of Extended Benefits

INCREASING THE NUMBER OF WEEKS OF ENTITLEMENT

Extended Benefits (EB) are available only when the state’s total unemployment rate, based on a 3-month average of unemployment rates, is at least 10% of the average for any or all of the corresponding three-month periods ending in the three preceding calendar years. EB offers either 13 or 20 weeks of additional benefits on top of the weeks of PEUC benefits, depending on the state’s unemployment rate.

As of July 2020, New Yorkers qualify for up to 20 weeks of EB, due to the state’s high rate of unemployment. As the unemployment rate changes, this may also change. Currently this means that New Yorkers may be eligible for up to a total of 59 weeks of UI benefits(26 weeks of regular UI benefits, 13 weeks of PEUC benefits and 20 weeks of Extended Benefits).

BENEFIT AMOUNT

A claimant’s weekly benefit rate will be the same amount the claimant received under regular UI benefits. Individuals eligible for EB are also eligible for the $600 supplemental Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC). However, currently under federal law the last week a claimant can claim the extra $600 PUC in NYS is the benefit week ending July 26, 2020.

ACESSING THE BENEFIT


Claimants will receive the PUC benefit in the same manner they receive their regular UI benefit, that is either through a debit card or direct deposit (deposited directly into the claimant’s checking account). Claimants will select their choice when they first file a claim.

AVAILABILITY OF EXTENDED BENEFITS

Extended Benefits became available starting the week ending July 5, 2020. EB may end once NYS’s unemployment rate reduces to the point when the state no longer qualifies under federal law.

Case Example

Joe became entitled to regular UI benefits beginning the week of September 29th, 2019. He exhausted his 26 weeks of UI benefits the week ending March 22, 2020. He became entitled to 13 weeks of PEUC benefits beginning the week of April 5, 2020, which ended July 4, 2020. At this point Joe becomes entitled to an additional 20 weeks of EB through the week ending November 21, 2020 for a total of 59 weeks, as long as NYS’ unemployment rate meets the EB requirements. Joe would have received the extra $600 in Emergency Unemployment Compensation beginning the week of April 5th through the week ending July 26th.

Qualifying for Extended Benefits

Regular UI claimants must first exhaust all 26 weeks of regular UI benefits and all 13 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) before they become entitled to EB. They must continue to be unemployed and must continue to meet the UI requirements of being ready, willing and able to work and are searching for work.

Claimants cannot be eligible for regular or extended compensation under any other state or federal law.

Extended Benefits is only available to regular UI recipients; it is not available to PUA recipients.

Note

PUA beneficiaries can receive up to 39 weeks of PUA benefits at this time. See above, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Description of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Length of Benefits.

Applying for Extended Benefits

The NYS Department of Labor will send letters with instructions to UI claimants who may be eligible for Extended Benefits. Individuals who think they may be eligible, but who have not received a notice, should take the following actions:
Log into their NY.gov ID account at https://labor.ny.gov/signin with their username and password.

  • Select Unemployment Services and select “Claim Weekly Benefits”
  • Or call the Tel-Service at 888-581-5812.
    For individuals whose benefit year has ended, the individual must file a new claim and should log-in on the NY.gov ID account and select “File a Claim.” Individuals will need to complete the application by calling the Telephone Claim Center at 1-888-209-8124, and after providing the information, will need to speak to an agent complete the claim.

Certifying for Extended Benefits

Claimants certify for weekly benefits the same way as they certify for regular UI benefits, through the NY.gov ID account at https://labor.ny.gov/signin or through the Tel-Service at 888-581-5812.