Unemployment Insurance benefits provided by CARES Act will expire on Dec. 26; benefits may end earlier for some

CHEYENNE - Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits for many claimants who would not qualify for regular UI are scheduled to expire on Dec. 26, without further action from the U.S. Congress.

Regular UI is not affected by the Dec. 26 deadline. However, those claimants receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) will receive no payments after Dec. 26. For some claimants, the expiration may come sooner. PUA and PEUC are available for 39 weeks and 13 weeks, respectively. When those weeks of eligibility are consumed, claimants will no longer receive payments under those programs, even if that date is before Dec. 26.

All payments under PUA and PEUC will cease on Dec. 26, regardless of the number of weeks a claimant has remaining or the balance of funds that would have been available to the claimant. Claims that are in the system before Dec. 26, but which are being delayed due to issues in the claim, will continue to be processed and paid.

Free employment services are available at all 20 Workforce Centers around the state, and this assistance can be accessed remotely via phone or computer.

"The CARES Act provided many Wyoming families with additional Unemployment Insurance benefits," said Holly McKamey Simoni, Workforce Programs Administrator for DWS. "As these programs come to an end, please know that the 20 Workforce Centers around the state can offer career and referral assistance to those who have lost their employment due to COVID-19."

Simoni notes that DWS continues to offer programs designed to help Wyoming workers who have lost income or employment meet basic needs until they are able to start work again. Those programs include Unemployment Insurance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), the Workforce Development Training Fund and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs. Unemployed workers may be eligible for financial assistance, help finding work, free or reduced-cost training for a new career, and other services. Additionally, the Vocational Rehabilitation division can assist those with barriers to employment and provide rehabilitation counseling and services to help eligible individuals reach their career goals.

Wyoming workers who have experienced a change in income or job loss, regardless of its relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, can apply for benefits online at any time at WYUI.wyo.gov. Those who prefer to file by phone may call 307-473-3789. Assistance can also be reached at any of the state's 20 Workforce Centers.

Visit the Workforce Resources in Response to COVID-19 at WyomingWorkforce.org to also find:

Frequently asked questions;

Information for workers;

Information for employers;

Access to the WyomingAtWork.com job site;

And other COVID-19 information.

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