The Covid Economy

Department of Labor says there will not be a lapse in unemployment benefits for gig workers, long-term unemployed

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Despite a delay in signing the most recent piece of coronavirus relief legislation into law, the U.S. Department of Labor "does not anticipate" that there will be a lapse in unemployment benefits for claimants in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs, a spokesperson for the agency tells CNBC Make It.

Unemployment experts and other lawmakers had said that because President Donald Trump signed the legislation on Sunday as opposed to Saturday, people collecting PUA and PEUC benefits would miss a week of payments. But now DOL says they can expect to receive the full 11 weeks of benefits, through March 14, 2021.

That's good news for the estimated 14 million people who are currently collecting jobless benefits through these programs.

Unemployment officials from New Jersey and Rhode Island confirmed to CNBC Make It that there will not be a lapse in payments for claimants in the PUA and PEUC programs.

"Rhode Island is working to quickly implement the changes so that there will not be a gap or delay in payments," Margaux Fontaine, communications director for the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, told CNBC Make It in an email.

Additionally, all claimants can also expect to receive the extra $300 weekly benefit from the federal government for the full 11 weeks, beginning after December 26, 2020 and ending on or before March 14, 2021, the DOL spokesperson said.

Because states independently operate their own unemployment systems, when exactly that extra money hits accounts will vary. Rhode Island said it will start sending the $300 boost with next week's benefits payments.

Check out: When you can expect to receive the $600 stimulus check

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