CHEYENNE – The Department of Workforce Services (DWS) fully intends to begin accepting UI applications from those individuals who qualify for some of the benefits included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act by the end of the week of April 27, if not sooner.
Congress passed the CARES Act at the end of March, and DWS has been working diligently to create a system to administer the funds to Wyoming workers who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
“The CARES Act expands unemployment benefits to many people who would not otherwise have been covered,” said DWS Workforce Programs Administrator Holly McKamey Simoni. “This will be a great help to the people of Wyoming, and we are thankful for the work of Senators Enzi and Barrasso and Representative Cheney in getting the act passed. Governor Gordon signed the agreement that authorized Wyoming to receive the funds immediately, but we had to wait for guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor before building a system from the ground up to administer the funding.”
The CARES Act includes:
Increased Unemployment Insurance compensation benefits: This emergency benefit provides most individuals an emergency increase in traditional unemployment insurance benefits of $600 per week through July 26, 2020. This increase will be added automatically to claims that qualify. There is no need to apply for this benefit. These payments, and the back-pay for those who qualified between March 29 and the date the benefits are paid, will be processed beginning the end of the week of April 27, if not sooner.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): This emergency benefit provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits to people not otherwise eligible for regular unemployment, including the self-employed and those who have exhausted their regular and extended benefits. DWS fully intends to begin processing applications for PUA claims by the end of the week of April 27.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): This benefit provides an additional 13 weeks of emergency unemployment insurance for people who remain unemployed after they have exhausted their traditional unemployment benefits. DWS is diligently working to create the system necessary to implement the PEUC, and a notification will be posted on wyomingworkforce.org when this system is open and ready for applications. Payments will be retroactive to March 29 for those who qualified before the system becomes open.
DWS will post an update on its website at wyomingworkforce.org when the system is opened for claimants who qualify for CARES benefits. Notices also will be sent to the media as well as posted on the department’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles.
CARES claimants will be able to file UI claims online at wyui.wyo.gov as soon as the system is in place.
Claimants using the online system may need to reset their PIN or passwords. Those needing to do so should send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and include their name, the last four digits of their social security number, and their phone number.
For more information on unemployment insurance benefits, please visit: wyomingworkforce.org/workers/ui/.