Iowa to end participation in federal pandemic-related unemployment benefits programs

(Des Moines Register Photo/Olivia Sun)
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 8:58 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Governor Kim Reynolds announced on Tuesday the state will end its participation in federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs by June 12.

In a news release, Gov. Reynolds said the new measure will address the state’s severe workforce shortage.

That means Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) will end on June 12.

The state said it will continue to provide regular unemployment insurance benefits to anyone eligible under the applicable state code.

Reynolds said it’s time for everyone who can to get back to work.

“Federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs initially provided displaced Iowans with crucial assistance when the pandemic began,” Gov. Reynolds said. “But now that our businesses and schools have reopened, these payments are discouraging people from returning to work. Our unemployment rate is at 3.7 percent, vaccines are available to anyone who wants one, and we have more jobs available than unemployed people.”

State officials said starting June 13, Iowa will no longer waive employer charges for COVID-related unemployment insurance claims.

“The overwhelming message we receive from employers these days is the lack of workforce that is adversely affecting their ability to recover from the pandemic,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development.

Iowa Workforce Development provided the following information for impacted claimants:

  • “Claimants who have exhausted their traditional 26 weeks of unemployment benefits and are now receiving benefits through the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program will no longer be eligible for UI payments after June 12, 2021, the last payable week for PEUC.
  • Iowa will no longer issue supplemental $300 weekly payments to claimants under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. This payment was made to all Iowans who were receiving unemployment benefits regardless of the program under which they are being paid. The last payable week for FPUC will be the week ending June 12, 2021.
  • Iowa will no longer participate in the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. PUA presently provides benefits to the self-employed, the underemployed, independent contractors, and individuals who have been unable to work due to health or COVID-19-related reasons. The last payable week for PUA will be the week ending June 12, 2021.
  • Iowa will no longer participate in the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program, which offers supplemental payments to individuals who had both traditional W-2 income as well as self-employment income.”

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