Job Service North Dakota has successfully implemented programming to accept two new Pandemic-related claim types provided by the recently passed federal CARES Act.
With this implementation, Job Service is now able to accept online claims from independent contractors, gig economy workers, self-employed individuals, and workers who may have exhausted the benefits available to them under the regular Unemployment Insurance system.
Although claims will be accepted, the United States Department of Labor has not yet provided guidance to fully process these claims and has told states not to process or pay benefits until they provide the required rules and guidance. The guidance is expected to be provided to all states within the next week. After receipt of the guidance, Job Service will complete necessary additional programming and begin paying benefits under these programs.
Applicants should go to jobsnd.com and self-select the program they are applying for:
- Regular Unemployment Insurance (UIICE) – For individuals who are eligible for regular benefits. These individuals generally receive a W-2 from an employer. Most individuals should select this option. Individuals who are found ineligible for regular unemployment benefits will most likely qualify for PUA benefits if their reason for being unemployed is due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – For individuals who have used up all their benefits on a regular claim and have not returned to work. This program provides a one-time 13-week extension of regular unemployment benefits for claimants whose benefit year end has not passed. This program will primarily assist those individuals who are seasonal workers laid off in the fall or winter who have used up all their benefits but due to the pandemic are not being called back to work.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) - For individuals not eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits. This program should be selected by individuals who are independent contractors, self-employed, gig workers, business owners, etc., who are unemployed due to the pandemic.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) is another program outlined in the CARES Act to provide for the addition of $600 to each unemployment insurance benefit payment made to an individual, whether on the regular unemployment insurance program or any of the new programs within the Cares Act. This will automatically apply to all claims, with no additional action necessary for claimants. Job Service is awaiting guidance on this program from the United States Department of Labor. It is expected that this benefit will be added to all benefit payments issued starting the week of April 12-18 and will be added to all Unemployment Insurance benefit payments for weeks of unemployment beginning Sunday, March 29, 2020 and ending no later than July 31, 2020.