Federally-funded $600 unemployment assistance to expire later this month
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A major federal unemployment assistance program for those affected by the pandemic will soon expire, but South Dakota officials say there are options available for those relying on the program.
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program is scheduled to end the last week of July. It was established in March to provide $600 per week to those who lost their job due to the coronavirus pandemic.
South Dakota Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman said job openings in the state are back to pre-pandemic levels, and state employment specialists are ready to help people with job searches and application assistance.
In addition, claimants currently receiving unemployment benefits will continue to receive their state weekly benefit amount if they remain eligible.
Job seekers can meet with employment specialists virtually through Microsoft Teams. Job Service offices are accepting in-office clients by appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“Businesses are eager for qualified applicants, and we can make that connection,” Hultman said. “We also have many education and training opportunities to get you started.”
FPUC provides an extra $600 weekly payment to all unemployment claimants and is 100% federally funded. Hultman said states do not have the ability to extend FPUC. The last payment will be on claims for the claim week ending Saturday, July 25, 2020, per federal guidelines.
In South Dakota, a total of $147.7 million has been paid out in FPUC benefits.
Eligible claimants waiting on FPUC payments or backdating requests for any claim weeks from April 4 through July 25 will receive those payments.
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