Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act—U.S. Department of Labor Issues Guidance on Unemployment Provisions: The Guidance Letters Provide Details on How the Several Expanded Unemployment Benefits Programs Relate to Each Other and Will Be Applied Separately.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - April 14, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued Unemployment Insurance Program Letters that summarize and interpret the various new federal unemployment benefits, including (a) the additional $600 per week available through July 31, 2020 to all individuals collecting unemployment compensation under state or federal law; (b) the expansion of regular unemployment compensation benefits for up to 39 weeks through December 31, 2020 for qualifying individuals including those meeting new COVID-19 qualifying reasons; (c) the extension of unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks through December 31, 2020 for those who have already exhausted their benefits; and (d) a detailed explanation of how the various new benefits programs relate to each other and which benefits individuals may receive under the various programs. Notably, the guidance clarifies that the $600 per week Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit is currently available only until July 31, 2020. It also states that individuals who quit employment without good cause in order to obtain these new unemployment benefits are committing fraud.