As businesses begin to reopen and many workers return to work, one of the main provisions of the CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, is set to expire next month. Section 2104 of the CARES Act created the federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program which provides all individuals who receive state unemployment benefits an additional $600 per week for up to four months funded by the federal government. Created as a short-term benefit, the additional $600 FPUC benefit will expire “on or before July 31, 2020.”
The exact expiration date depends on how the state defines the unemployment benefit week. The majority of states follow a Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday benefit week for purposes of unemployment compensation. For states whose benefit week ends on a Saturday the final week FPUC is payable is the week ending July 25, 2020. For states whose benefit week ends on a Sunday the final payable week is the week ending July 26, 2020.
While the House of Representatives passed an extension of the FPUC benefit in the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, the bill has faced strong opposition in the Senate.
Notably, although the FPUC benefit expires next month, the expanded benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program are in effect until December 31, 2020. As a reminder the PUA provides workers who are ineligible for regular state benefits, such as independent contractors, unemployment benefits funded by the federal government.