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2021 Updates

Extensions of PEUC, extended benefits, and PUA
Consolidated Appropriations act 2021 Analysis

The PUA program has been extended until March 14, 2021. For claimants on PUA who have NOT exhausted their benefit eligibility of up to 50 weeks (59 in NY), the program also provides continuing benefits for eligible individuals through April 5, 2021.
The law also strengthens documentation requirements to ensure PUA eligibility. This means NEW claimants will need to provide more documentation. New PUA claimants (after Jan. 31, 2021) have 21 days to submit documentation proving their status as self-employed/employed. All other PUA claimants have 90 days to submit such documentation.
Waivers - both PUA overpayments and LWA overpayments may be waived: "when the individual is not at fault for the payment and repayment would be contrary to equity and good conscience.
Limitations on backpay: anyone who applied after 12/27/20 is only entitled to backpay as far as 12/1/20.
The FPUC program has been restarted, but for $300, not $600. It is active through December 26, 2020 - March 14, 2021. No backpay will be paid out to claimants during the period between July 31, 2020 and December 26, 2020. To receive these benefits, continue to certify while claiming.
PDF of Governor Cuomo’s initial announcement explaining extensions for 2021
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DOL FAQ and Answers About Extensions Referenced Above
Updated information on Extended Benefits and PEUC
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A Group of FAQs on the new Covid-19 Relief Package (there are individual questions below too)

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Weeks of PUA Benefits
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Documentation for Continued Pua Eligibility
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PEUC Week Availability
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Currently Receiving EB and eligible for PEUC Question
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Claimants who Already Exhausted Benefits Prior to Extension

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FPUC Benefit Extension and Amount

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After additional 11 weeks are exhausted

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Impact on LWA Payments Question
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MEUC/ Additional Benefits for Self-Employed, Freelance Workers

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Hours-Based Approach - New Rule for New York’s Partial Unemployment Benefits
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UPDATE: NYS DOL, under Governor Cuomo’s direction, will implement a new rule that redefines how part-time work impacts UI & PUA benefits. This change makes New York's partial unemployment system fairer & more equitable for New Yorkers who work part-time while collecting benefits.
This update will apply to the benefit week of Monday, January 18, 2021 to Sunday, January 24, 2021 and all benefit weeks going forward. The first time you will certify under the new system is on or after Sunday, January 24, 2021.
NYS DOL's new partial unemployment system uses an "hours-based" approach.
Under the new rules, claimants can work up to 7 days per week without losing full unemployment benefits for that week *if* they work 30 hours or fewer and earn less than $504 in gross pay.
With this change, claimants' benefits will not be reduced for each day they engage in part-time work - instead, benefits will be reduced in increments based on total hours of work for the week. Claimants can work up to 4 hours in a week without any reduction in benefits. Claimants will still be required to report the amount of money earned that week.
NYS DOL's certification system *will* still ask for the number of days worked, but UI & PUA claimants should refer to the chart below to determine how the hours they worked translates to the number of days to report.
For example, if someone works four or fewer hours in a week, they should report they worked 0 days when certifying. Someone who works 30 hours would report just 3 days worked, even if the hours were spread over up to 7 days.
NOTE: When totaling hours for the week, you should only count *UP TO* 10 hours per day. That means someone who works 12 hours in one day will only need to include 10 of those hours in their weekly total.
NYS DOL's new partial UI rule allows workers to take on part-time work to augment their household income and help them develop skills and connections that may lead to full-time employment, while providing businesses with flexibility as they build back. More:
Frequently Asked Questions on new Partial Unemployment Rule
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Q: What changes have been made to partial unemployment?
A: NYS DOL’s new partial unemployment system uses an “hours-based” approach. Under the new rules, claimants can work up to 7 days per week without losing full unemployment benefits for that week, if they work 30 hours or fewer and earn $504 or less in gross pay excluding earnings from self-employment. With this change, claimants’ benefits will not be reduced for each day they engage in part-time work and will be reduced in increments based on total hours of work for the week.
For comparison, NYS DOL’s previous system for partial UI counted part-time work in full-day increments. Under this approach, a claimant who worked part time would lose 25% of their weekly benefits for each day worked regardless of the number of hours worked on each of those days. For example, a claimant who earned just $45 during a three-hour shift would have lost a quarter of their weekly benefits.
Q: What has changed with my weekly certification?
A: This system update modifies how you calculate the number of days you report working each week. Please refer to the chart above to determine how your weekly hours worked translates to the number of days to report. For example, if you worked 4 hours or fewer in a week, you should report that you worked 0 days when certifying. If you worked 30 hours, you would report 3 days worked.
Another change is that you are only required to report up to 10 hours worked each day.
Q: What has not changed with my weekly certification?
A: You are still required to certify your weekly claim for benefits online or through the automated phone system. When certifying, the system will still ask for the number of days you worked. You should refer to the chart above to determine how your weekly hours worked translate to the number of days to report.
In addition, you are still required to report the amount of money you earned during the week for which you are claiming. If you earned $504 or more in weekly gross pay (excluding earnings from self-employment), you will not be eligible for unemployment or pandemic benefits regardless of hours worked.
Q: How should I calculate my hours if I work more than 10 hours on one day?
A: When totaling hours for the week, you should use a maximum of 10 hours per calendar day. To determine how many days of work to report, you should add together all hours worked for each calendar day (with a maximum of 10 hours for any day you worked more than 10 hours) and refer to the chart.
For example, if you worked a total of 8 hours in a week, you should report one day of employment, and if you worked a total of 13 hours in a week, you should report two days of employment if you worked more than one day. If the 13 hours of work occurred on one calendar day, then you should report one day of employment because of the 10-hour maximum rule.
Note: This formula does not change the $504 gross weekly payments rule – you must still report your total earnings for the week. If you earned more than $504 in weekly gross pay (the amount of money earned before taxes and deductions are taken out) excluding earnings from self-employment, you will not be eligible for unemployment or pandemic benefits regardless of hours worked.
Q: When does this change to partial unemployment go into effect?
A: Starting Sunday, January 24, 2021, New Yorkers will report using the new method for the benefit week of Monday, January 18, 2021 to Sunday, January 24, 2021 – and all benefit weeks going forward.
Q: Is there still an earnings cutoff for partial unemployment benefits?
A: Yes. If you earn more than $504 in weekly gross pay (the amount of money earned before taxes and deductions are taken out excluding earnings from self-employment), you will not be eligible for unemployment or pandemic benefits for that week no matter how few hours you worked.
Q: Does this change also apply to weekly certifications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits?
A: Yes. Claimants who are eligible for PUA benefits will report their days of work using the new calculation method. Unlike regular UI benefits (or extended benefits), PUA claimants must report earnings in self-employment over $504 as per federal requirements.
Q: If I work four hours in a week over four days, should I still report that I worked 0 days?
A: Yes. Under NYS DOL’s new partial unemployment system, four hours of work in a week - regardless of the total days worked - is equivalent to less than one day worked for certification purposes, as long as you do not earn more than $504 in gross pay (excluding earnings from self-employment) for those four hours worked.
Q: How does this change impact my benefits if I am not working part time?
A: NYS DOL’s change in how partial unemployment benefits are calculated will not impact you if work 0 hours in a week.
Q: How will this change to partial unemployment impact the overall time that I can receive unemployment benefits?
A: NYS DOL’s change in how partial unemployment benefits are calculated will not impact the number of weeks of unemployment available to you.
Q: I’m on Shared Work. How does this change affect my benefits?
A: Partial unemployment benefits for claimants enrolled in the Shared Work program are calculated differently. See additional information about .
Q: What should I do if I reported the wrong number of hours worked while certifying?
A: If you mistakenly reported the number of days worked for weeks starting January 18, 2021 or later, instead of the using the new formula, you should let NYS DOL know so we can ensure you are paid all the benefits you are entitled to.
I hope this additional information helps!
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