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CARES Act Extensions Available for DC Workers

Friday, April 16, 2021
(Washington, DC) – Today, the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) announced that all current programs and provisions under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) are fully implemented in an extensive system update to the unemployment compensation portal at dcnetworks.org. District workers can also apply by phone at (202) 724-7000.
 
“The American Rescue Plan Act extension of unemployment insurance benefit programs provides a financial bridge to support District workers,” said DOES Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “These system updates and modifications will allow District workers access to their extended benefits and claim information without interruption. The portal updates will continue to increase productivity and improve service to claimants.”
 
The ARPA extensions provide unemployment insurance benefit extensions to those that are self-employed, contract workers, those ineligible for state unemployment benefits or who have exhausted benefits.   
 
The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) indicated that there will not be a gap in benefit weeks, and claimants should continue to file their weekly certifications. Eligible payments will be made retroactively and will include all provisions under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) and the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act. All provisions will extend until September 4, 2021.

The system updates and modifications include updates to the following programs:  
 
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – PUA covers individuals who are not eligible for regular UI benefits for up to 79 total weeks. This includes self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and gig economy workers.  
 
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – PEUC covers individuals who have recently exhausted all rights to regular UI under state or federal law for up to 53 total weeks.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) – FPUC covers individuals currently receiving regular UI or PUA, and individuals eligible under PEUC. In addition to regular UI or PUA benefits, eligible individuals will receive an additional $300 per week.  
 
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) – MEUC provides a $100 weekly supplement to eligible individuals with annual self-employment income of at least $5,000. To be eligible for MEUC, individuals must have received at least $5,000 of self-employment income in the most recent taxable year ending prior to the individual’s application for regular UI.
 
Extended Benefits (EB) – EB covers claimants that first exhaust all 26 weeks of traditional UI benefits and all 53 weeks of PEUC benefits (a total of 79 weeks of benefits) and continue to be unemployed.
 
Benefit Year End (BYE) – After the PEUC benefits have been exhausted, the claimant must file a new claim and they will receive any regular or traditional benefits for the remainder of the benefit year that was established.  Should the regular weekly benefit amount (WBA) be lower than the PEUC WBA by $25 or more, the claimant will receive the remaining entitlement from the previous benefit year.
 
The DC Department of Employment Services is the only official source of information. No other guidance or advice given outside of DOES should be used or will be accepted. If claimants have questions, please contact the office at (202) 724-7000 or [email protected]