PRESS RELEASE: Department of Labor launches PEUC program, providing additional benefits for unemployed Vermonters
(Montpelier, VT) – An additional 13 weeks of benefits are available to individuals who have exhausted their regular state unemployment insurance claim with a benefit year that expired on or after July 1, 2019.
The additional weeks of benefits are provided by the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. Individuals will also receive Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), an additional $600 to their weekly benefits through the week ending July 25, 2020.
PEUC is for individuals who have exhausted 26-weeks of regular unemployment insurance benefits or had their benefit year expire without requalifying for a new benefit year. Individuals must remain able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work within the temporary flexibilities approved by the Department of Labor.
PEUC, FPUC, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits are 100% federally funded and employers will not be charged for any benefits paid under a CARES Act program. Individuals may file for PEUC in the same manner of filing for regular unemployment insurance benefits. Please visit the Department’s website for more detailed instructions, at https://labor.vermont.gov/PEUC.
Important Note: None of the benefits described above, nor unemployment benefits of any kind, are available to employees who quit without good work-related cause, refuse to return to work, or refuse to receive full wage replacement from their employer. Refusing to return to work could result in a disqualification for benefit eligibility. The CARES Act specifically provides for serious consequences for fraudulent claims, including disqualification from future benefits, administrative penalties, and criminal prosecutions. Employers are encouraged to report suspected fraud, by visiting https://labor.vermont.gov/unemployment-insurance/refusal-return-work-covid-19.
Additional information for workers and employers affected by COVID-19, including frequently asked questions, can be found at https://labor.vermont.gov/.