Posted on May 1, 2020
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
While our government had initiated major economic programs at the end of March to help those impacted by COVID-19, so many in our community are still trying to get access to those programs. Below is an update on the big three – unemployment assistance, Paycheck Protection Program, and Economic Impact Payments.
I am hosting a virtual Zoom meeting tomorrow, Friday, May 1 at 3 PM to provide an update on these economic programs and to answer any of your questions. Click here to register in advance for this meeting.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please email any questions you may have in advance to email@example.com.
Update on the 3 main programs to help those impacted by COVID-19
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Step One: As of today, April 30, those seeking PUA – self-employed individuals, independent contractors or those who could not get unemployment assistance under the existing state statute because of work requirements – may apply for unemployment through the state’s Department of Labor (DOL). Please note: your application will be rejected, but this is an important step because you will be in the system. This is a necessary step to receive PUA benefits because in order to be eligible for this program, you must prove that you are ineligible for state benefits. Those who have already applied and received a zero determination do NOT need to reapply.
Step Two: Sometime next week, there will be a red button on the DOL website titled “PUA applicants.” Those who have completed step one and received the zero monetary determination letter (rejected application) can use this button to apply for the actual PUA. The DOL will approve those applications thereafter and is expecting to start making the PUA payments by end of next week. The determination of the amount for PUA will be based on applicant’s calendar-2019 income based on Schedule C or other documents. The PUA will range from $198 – $649 per week and all approved applicants will also get the $600 FPUC for 20 weeks. The PUA will be paid retroactively to the date of COVID based unemployment for up to 39 weeks, while the additional FPUC will be paid from March, 29 for up to 20 weeks.
Backlog in the normal Unemployment Assistance program: We have been informed that over 90% of the backlog in the UA program has been cleared. The additional $600 per week (FPUC) is also being paid. The catchup payment for prior weeks will go out in the coming week. There are around 2500 applicants who have stopped receiving UA payments after a few weeks. That problem is being rectified. If you are in this group, you should expect to hear from DOL in the next couple of days.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
As of Monday, April 27, banks again started accepting PPP applications. In this second authorization, there are funds being kept aside for smaller community banks and similar institutions. It is the government’s intent that everyone eligible should get a chance to apply for this program. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) has been oversubscribed and no new applications are now being accepted. The SBA is sending those payments on a first come first served basis. Many constituents in our district have told me that they have received the EIDL payments.
Economic Impact Payments
These are the direct stimulus payments being made to all individuals and families by the IRS. Many people have received their payments, especially those using direct deposit.
Stay safe and stay healthy. I look forward to seeing you on the Zoom call tomorrow.
State Representative Harry Arora
151st General Assembly District