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State awaits guidance for latest COVID-19 federal unemployment benefits

In this May 6, 2020 photo, a sign stands outside the Department of Labor's headquarters in...
In this May 6, 2020 photo, a sign stands outside the Department of Labor's headquarters in Washington.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 11:52 AM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - North Carolina’s unemployment wing is providing details on how federal aid will be factored in should the latest COVID-19 aid package pass.

The bill awaits President Trump’s signature, though he has signaled a possible unwillingness to sign it.

The North Carolina Division of Employment Security says if it is signed, the division must receive guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor before it can implement changes to the benefits system and begin issuing payments.

The division says it’s unlikely that all of the guidance will be issued before January 2021.

“DES is reviewing the new unemployment provisions and preparing to reprogram its benefits system to process and pay the additional benefits if the bill is enacted,” officials said in a press release.

Key components of the bill related to unemployment benefits include:

• An extension of up to 11 weeks of benefits and a phase-out period for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs.

• A weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefit of $300 to be paid to claimants in addition to their regular weekly benefits for weeks starting after Dec. 26, 2020, and ending before March 14, 2021.

• An optional new program, Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC), which would provide an additional $100 weekly benefit for up to 11 weeks to eligible claimants who are receiving state unemployment insurance benefits and meet self-employment income requirements.

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