Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (2) – 7/16/20
When COVID-19 shuttered businesses, Montana’s unemployment rate shot up to 11.3 percent by April as those laid off scrambled to claim unemployment benefits to make ends meet. As a part of the federal CARES Act, those claiming unemployment insurance also received $600 per week, an added stimulus that is set to end July 25. There are other provisions of the CARES Act that do not expire until December 26, including Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides an extra 13 weeks of benefits to persons who exhaust traditional benefits, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides up to 46 weeks of benefits to those who are self-employed.
“The elimination of the FPUC payment will definitely be felt in households of jobless workers and across their communities. We will be closely monitoring developments at the federal level when Congress returns from recess next week,” Acting Commissioner Brenda Nordlund said in a July 15 press release. “It is possible the FPUC payment could be extended at a lower amount or Congress could take a completely different tack on how best to continue support unemployed workers and the economy.”