Everybody is talking about stimulus checks. There’s been talk about $1,200 checks. There’s been talk about potentially $2,000 checks. There’s even been talk about recurring payments, getting $1,000 a month for the next six months, maybe 12 months.
Now, the CARES Act has already passed. You may have already received your check. Some of you are still waiting. The HEROES Act, which is the second stimulus plan that’s currently in Congress has already passed the House of Representatives, but it’s still got a ways to go.
So, everybody’s talking about that but surprisingly is that a lot of people are not talking about a benefit that’s actually greater than a one time $1,200 check. They’re not talking about a $2,400 monthly payment that many people qualify for. Now, it’s kind of being talked about because many of you are receiving it, but it’s not being given the credit that it truly deserves.
What Is The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Plan?
So, what exactly am I talking about here? What is this $2,400 monthly payment? It is the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Plan. Some of you are familiar with unemployment, getting unemployment right now. Unemployment is a part of this, but it’s actually a whole lot more.
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
So, what is it exactly? Well, there are two components to this. Their first part is called the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. FPUC. One of those really fun acronyms the government likes to do. So, what exactly is the FPUC? So first, this is the $600 monthly benefit that you get. You were getting it. If you already applied for it, it started on March 29th. It was planned to be paid up until July 31st, 2020. Now I will say, as part of the HEROES Act, one of the things that’s included in that is that extending this $600 payment from July 31st up until I think the end of January of next year.
The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
Now, the other part of this is what’s called the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. So, this one is the PEUC. This is effective from March 29th on up to December 31st, 2020. And basically, what this adds on top of the FPUC, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. What this adds is an additional benefit for up to 13 additional weeks on top of the 26 weeks of your initial benefits.
So when you combine these two together, when you combine the FPUC and the PEUC. In total, you could get up to 39 weeks of benefits or a total of $23,400, $23,400 over the course of nine months. Some states are not providing unemployment insurance to those who are self-employed, independent contractors or gig economy workers, but the PEU program does. So, that’s a big benefit for many. 1099 people that didn’t feel like they were going to get anything, well, that’s what this entire program, the Pandemic Unemployed Assistant Program offers.
How Do You Know If You Are Eligible?
So you might be wondering, who is eligible? How do you know if you’re qualified? Really, there are two big rules that they’re looking for.
You are unemployed through no fault of your own
First rule is, if you are unemployed through no fault of your own, meaning that it ain’t your fault that we got hit with coronavirus, so that’s not your fault. It’s not like you were late seven days in a row or didn’t show up, didn’t call in.
You meet the work and wage requirements
The second thing is that you meet work and wage requirements for the base period in which you earn eligibility. Now that sounds really, really formal, but basically, just saying like, “Were you working enough hours where you were getting paid. Were you not skipping out of work to qualify?” I mean, that’s pretty basic what’s going on there.
Who is not eligible?
You’re not eligible if:
- You are receiving other benefits such as sick leave
- If you’re able to work remotely
How do I apply for The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Plan?
Now that you know the details and have determined you are eligible, how do you go about applying for The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Plan?
- Go to the US Department of Labor.
- Click “How do I apply?”
- Click on your state’s unemployment insurance plan.
- From there, you can use the dropdown or select your state on the map.
- You will then see where you can apply or where to call.
- You will then need to complete the application process.
Hopefully, many of you are already taking full advantage of these benefits, but it’s surprising that many people don’t. Many are just waiting for a second check to come.
If it is going to come, it’s not coming anytime soon. It took, I think almost a month after the CARES Act passed to finally get your first check. And that’s only if you had a direct deposit on file. We’re still over a month out right now and there are still several people that still haven’t got their check. So, if that is you and you aren’t familiar with some of these different programs that are offered through this PUA, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, you need to start filling some information. You need to start making some calls, getting on the phone and finding out what you’re qualified for, because you don’t want to be sitting here waiting to see if a second program rolls out and just hope that that is going to be your savior.
This was all part of the original CARES Act to help Americans not just get by, but just trying to survive. It’s there. You just got to go through the process, have to do a little bit of homework and a little bit of research, and just start filling it out to make sure that you start receiving your checks.