Latest Federal Updates

This page contains the latest updates regarding COVID-19 federal unemployment assistance programs such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This page will be regularly updated when new information is available.

Last updated: 3/24/2021

On Thursday, March 11, 2021 the American Rescue Plan was signed into law by President Biden. This law includes several important provisions that extend unemployment programs. Details on these programs are below.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) extended

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants were previously eligible for up to 50 weeks of benefits. Now, you will be eligible for up to 79 weeks of benefits. The additional weeks will be added to your claim automatically; just continue to certify weekly. There is no need to reapply or contact the call center.
  • IMPORTANT: If you previously exhausted 50 weeks of PUA, you will be able to begin certifying again beginning Sunday, March 21, 2021. There is no need to reapply or contact the UI call center. Week-ending March 20, 2021 is the first week the PUA continuation takes effect. Unfortunately, based on the federal law, there are no back weeks available if you previously exhausted PUA.
  • PUA as a whole will be extended through September 4, 2021, but be aware that you may exhaust your individual 79 weeks before that date.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) extended

  • The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program previously provided up to 24 weeks of additional benefits to claimants who exhausted their regular UI benefits. Now, it will provide up to 53 additional weeks through September 4, 2021.
  • If you are already collecting PEUC, no additional action is needed. If you exhaust your regular benefits, you will receive instructions about your next steps.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Regular UI claims only last for one year. If you reach the benefit year ending (BYE) date of your claim, you will need to file a new claim in order to have your eligibility determined. You will receive a message instructing you to do this when you've reached your BYE date.

$300 weekly boost extended

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides an additional $300 per week on top of your weekly benefit amount, has been extended through September 4, 2021.
  • You will continue receiving this boost automatically. There is no need to contact the call center.

Additional Information

  • Any updates or additional information will be posted at dlt.ri.gov/covid19/updates. There is no need to contact the call center for general updates on these programs. Call center representatives will not have additional information.
  • For any issues regarding your individual claim, contact the UI call center at (401) 415-6772.