The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES”) is to provide nearly $2 trillion of support to families and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that some of these Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits also extend to the self-employed and independent contractors, two types of worker not typically covered by UI benefits. However, these benefits are not available to those who can work remotely or already are receiving paid leave benefits, including those benefits available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation – $600 Additional Weekly Benefit
CARES provides an addition $600 per week benefit to certain employees receiving UI benefits. Under this expansion, individuals who ordinarily would qualify for unemployment compensation benefits under State law are entitled to both: (1) the regular amount of compensation available under State law, as well as (2) an additional flat-fee amount of $600 per week, which is referred as “Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.” The $600 is payable by the State to the individual, to be reimbursed by the Federal Government. It is not charged to the employer’s UI account.