The state announced May 21 that Massachusetts residents who are eligible for the federal CARES Act and qualify for having exhausted their regular unemployment compensation may now receive the new Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).
The launch of this program marks the third and final benefit available for the Commonwealth through the CARES Act.
PEUC provides up to 13 additional weeks of benefits to an individual who has exhausted all rights to any regular unemployment compensation and who meets other eligibility requirements of the CARES Act. PEUC will automatically begin for individuals who have been receiving regular standard unemployment benefits on an active claim and those benefits are exhausted, and those individuals do not have to take any further action.
If an individual’s standard unemployment claim has expired, they must file a new standard claim. If the individual is monetarily eligible on the new standard claim, regardless of the benefit rate amount, they will receive benefits from that new claim. Otherwise, the individual will be eligible for PEUC on the prior claim and it will be automatically implemented.
Individuals who exhausted their standard benefits but were receiving benefits through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) must apply to claim weekly benefits. Residents should apply through the standard unemployment benefits portal available here.
Those receiving PEUC will also receive $600 weekly through the week ending July 25, 2020, provided by the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program established by the CARES Act.
The CARES Act signed into law on March 27, 2020, established the PEUC, PUA and FPUC public benefit programs that expanded unemployment eligibility, temporarily increases weekly benefits for all claimants and allows additional categories of people to claim unemployment benefits. This is the largest expansion of assistance for the Commonwealth’s workforce since the Great Depression.
More information about Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation can be found at mass.gov/peuc.