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State officials: Prepare for end of extended federal unemployment benefits

By Jeri Chadwell

Every federal pandemic unemployment extended benefit program will expire in less than a month, and the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) wants to make sure Nevada residents receiving benefits are aware.

The benefits programs expire at midnight on Sept. 4. This applies to the following programs:

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides an additional $300 weekly payment for any claimant who is eligible for at least $1 of an underlying unemployment compensation program.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides an extension of benefits after a claimant exhausts regular unemployment compensation benefits.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides benefits for claimants who are unemployed as a direct result of COVID-19 and not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or PEUC, including those who are self-employed or are gig workers like bartenders and freelancers.
  • State Extended Benefits (SEB), which provides an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits to claimants who have exhausted their regular unemployment compensation benefits during periods of high state unemployment rates.

These programs were under threat of expiring late last year if the omnibus COVID-19 relief deal had not passed in Congress. Had it not passed, nearly 200,000 Nevadans would have lost their benefits on Dec. 26, 2020.

The programs’ Sept. 4 expiration date applies even for people who show a benefit balance on their claims.

People who are waiting for an eligibility determination for any of the federal programs and receive it after Sept. 4, will be paid all funds they are eligible for up to the date the federal programs expire. These people should continue filing weekly through Sept. 4.

DETR is required to accept PUA applications for covered weeks, until Oct. 6. These claims can be backdated to the first week during the pandemic assistance period in which a person found themselves unemployed, partially unemployed or unable or unavailable to work as a result of an approved COVID-19-related reason.

Nevada will revert to its regular Unemployment Insurance base-period model after the federal extended benefits end.

Starting Sept. 5, benefits will be based on a person’s earnings during certain time periods, known as base periods. To learn more about the base period and how weekly UI benefits are calculated DETR suggests referring to the claimant handbook found at this link.

People currently claiming benefits—as well as any Nevadans who are unemployed or looking to change jobs—can use employnv.gov for assistance with resumes and applications and finding jobs. People can also learn more about training for in-demand careers there. Many of these training options also offer financial assistance.

To get personalized work search assistance from a JobConnect representative, fill out this online form.

For a list of workforce partners currently offering in-person services click here.

The Employment Recovery Program through Nevadaworks in northern and rural Nevada helps displaced workers apply for training programs to work in positions that expand their skills. It also offers childcare, resume writing and mock interview practice. Find out more at this link.

American Job Center is another resource providing access to employment pathways.

During the late spring of 2020, Nevada’s nearly 30% unemployment rate trumped even unemployment during the Great Recession, but it was reported by DETR in April of this year that the unemployment rate had been falling since its May 2020 high.

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