The new stimulus bill of $900 billion was passed this week by Congress. It will extend the program of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provided by the CARES Act by almost 11 weeks till March 2021. However, in order to curb the fraudulent practices, it has added a measure of a new verification procedure to avail the unemployment benefits.
This verification process will affect almost 10 million Americans presently drawing funds from the unemployment benefits along with the new applicants for 2021.
New Verification For New Unemployment Benefits
No sooner was the new relief bill passed than the US citizens claiming the jobless benefits required to submit the required documents for eligibility procedure within 90 days. In case a citizen fails to complete the process, they will be at risk of refunding the PUA funds received earlier.
The Labor Department and state organizations are yet to specify their requirements for the verification process. This is bound to have complications since millions of workers are expected to file for unemployment benefits. Additionally, the eligibility criteria remains a point of dispute.
PUA will be extending the jobless benefits to even the non-traditional workers like freelance, self-employed, and gig workers. It will also offer benefits to individuals directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. For example, if someone contracted the virus or had to self-isolate and leave their jobs or was laid off. Also if the workplace had to be shut down due to the impacts of the pandemic.
Elizabeth Pancotti has specified that workers presently drawing PUA funds are also required to certify in order to continue receiving their benefits. The verification procedure is not ex post facto and those unable to submit by 31st January 2021, must submit within the next 21 days.