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

On March 27, 2020, the President signed the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act to expand unemployment insurance benefits and other economic relief measures aimed at reducing the economic impact of the novel coronavirus 2019 (“COVID-19”) pandemic and authorized $2.1 trillion in aid to various sectors of the economy.  This economic relief package is in addition to the Family First Corona Virus Response Act.

CARES includes the following:

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA, is the program that will provide unemployment benefits to those not ordinarily eligible for them. This includes individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, 1099 independent contractors, employees of churches, employees of non-profits or those with limited work history who will not qualify for state unemployment benefits.

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, or FPUC, provides a $600 supplement per week to any individual eligible for any of the Unemployment Compensation programs – State and Federal. Those who receive this benefit and were receiving UI benefits at that time will get benefits back to April 4, 2020.

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, or PEUC, allows for up to an additional 13 weeks of benefits added to the end of regular unemployment benefits. This means claimants may collect unemployment benefits for a longer period of time than under normal circumstances.  The GDOL has not received the guidelines on PEUC from the USDOL at this time and does not have a timeline for implementation.

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is updating its current systems to distribute federal unemployment funds on behalf of the federal government as part of the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) bringing economic relief to many Georgians.