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NEWS FEED
AFLCIO NEW FEED /
INDIANA AFL-CIO
Welcome to the IBEW 242

 (updated 4/3/2020)

 

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)

Congress recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). That law includes several changes that may affect your eligibility for unemployment benefits. These changes include:

  • $600/week additional compensation for people receiving unemployment benefits.
  • A new benefit program for workers who are unemployed as a result of COVID-19 who are NOT eligible for regular unemployment benefits.
  • An extension of unemployment benefits for up to 13 weeks.

The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. Before we can implement this law, we need detailed guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor. We will also have to make any technology changes necessary to adhere to that guidance.

We will provide updates here as we make progress. We are also planning on sending mass emails with updates as they become available.

CARES Act changes

  • Under the CARES Act, you will continue to receive your regular unemployment benefit amount. You will also receive $600 per week of additional compensation.

    Assuming we get clearance from the U.S. Department of Labor, we will implement this program immediately.

    If you are eligible for any unemployment benefit program, you will automatically receive the additional compensation.

    What you need to know:

    • The first week for which you can get the additional $600 is the week beginning March 29th. 
    • You can request the week of March 29th on or after April 5th. 
    • You do not need to do anything to get the additional $600. We will automatically add it to your payment AFTER you request benefits for the week of March 29th (and every week after that you are eligible). 
    • If you are receiving your unemployment benefits via direct deposit, expect that the additional amount will show up on your bank statement as a separate transaction.
  • The CARES Act created a new program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

    The United States Department of Labor will not allow us to begin paying PUA benefits until they issue additional instructions. We expect PUA benefits will be available before the end of April. We will post updates to this website as they are available; our customer service representatives will not have any additional information.

    PUA benefits may be available to unemployed workers who are NOT eligible for regular unemployment benefits, including:

    • Self-employed people 
    • Independent contractors

    What you need to know:

    • If you think you may qualify for PUA, please apply for regular unemployment benefits now. 
    • We have special instructions for self-employed people that will allow you to qualify for PUA benefits more quickly once they become available.
    • If you have already applied for benefits and you are self-employed, you do not need to do anything. 
    • We will provided updated information in your online account if you are eligible for PUA benefits.
  • The CARES Act created a new program called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which will provide 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits for certain workers.

    The United States Department of Labor will not allow us to begin paying extended benefits until they issue additional instructions. We expect extended benefits will be available before the end of April. We will post updates to this website as they are available; our customer service representatives will not have any additional information.

    What you need to know:

    • You don’t need to tell us you have exhausted your benefits – just continue requesting benefits every week.
    • Once we get instructions from USDOL, we will be able to detect everyone eligible for Extended Benefits and add those benefits to their account.
    • We can then automatically pay you for any weeks you had requested.
    • We will let you know if we need additional information from you.

 

 

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Minnesota Unemployment Insurance - Executive order issued

 

On March 16, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order to ensure workers affected by the Coronavirus have full access to unemployment benefits. The executive order makes applicants eligible for unemployment benefits if:

  •          A healthcare professional or health authority recommended or ordered them to avoid contact with others.
  •          They have been ordered not to come to their workplace due to an outbreak of a communicable disease.
  •          They have received notification from a school district, daycare, or other childcare provider that either classes are canceled or the applicant’s ordinary childcare is unavailable, provided that the applicant made reasonable effort to obtain other childcare and requested time off or other accommodation from the employer and no reasonable accommodation was available.

 

Governor Walz’s executive order waives the nonpayable or “waiting” week to ensure applicants have access to unemployment benefits as quickly as possible.

 

While all applicants for unemployment benefits must actively seek suitable employment, Governor Walz’s executive order stipulates that you may look for suitable work that does not pose a risk to your health or the health of others.  If you have only been laid off temporarily, you can meet work search requirements by staying in contact with your current employer.

 

Note:  If a “Shelter in Place” order is given, and you are out of work as a result you should apply for benefits.  Likewise, if the rest of the school year is cancelled and you lose work you should apply.  Further details regarding unemployment in Minnesota (which may be changing) can be found at: https://www.uimn.org/applicants/needtoknow/news-updates/covid-19.jsp

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