Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance (UI) has been expanded for this crisis, both at the state and federal levels. Many workers who would not ordinarily be eligible for UI now are.  (See: What to do if you are laid off.)

State level

New York has waived its 1 week waiting period, so you can apply for UI immediately after a layoff.

Vermont does not have a waiting period, is waiving “able and available” and work search requirements for individuals in isolation, and is working to expedite payments.

Federal level

The federal government has passed several coronavirus-related relief bills, which include these expansions to UI:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC), which increases ordinary UI payments, including those on PUA and PEUC, by $600/person/week through 7/31/2020.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which extends state UI benefits by 13 weeks.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which will provide some UI benefits to people who have exhausted state UI benefits or are not eligible for state UI benefits and are unemployed for COVID-19 related reasons. PUA offers ½ of the state’s UI amount (about $190/week) for 39 weeks and runs through 12/31/2020. PUA will cover adjuncts, even if their states exclude them.
  • Short-Time Compensation (STC), which will provide pro-rated UI to hourly workers whose employers drastically reduce hours rather than laying people off, if their state and employer participate in the STC program. The program runs through 12/31/20. 

If you are laid off:

  • Immediately file for Unemployment Insurance,
  • State that the layoff was due to a state government order in response to Covid-19

Here is a step-by-step guide to filing for UI.

If your employer contests your application, contact your steward or representative immediately.


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