A new compensation program for workers who have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 outbreak has been announced by the Department of Labor.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is specifically designed for workers who may not quality for regular unemployment benefits, but are, at the same time, without work due to the coronavirus.
According to the Labor Department, the program, funded on the federal level but implemented on the state level, is specifically geared for independent contractors and self-employed workers, among others.
As outlined, the program will provide up to 39 weeks of benefits for workers who are able to work but have lost work for a reason tied COVID-19.
Benefits to be paid under the program are retroactive, reaching back to January 27.
The program also, for the present, has a scheduled lifespan, with benefits expiring as of the last day of this year.
In order to make the program more seamless, the Labor Department has now issued a document called the Unemployment Insurance Program Letter designed to provide instructions to the states on its implementation.
The new benefits program was established through the passage of the massive Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act late last month.
By Garry Boulard
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