• The San Juan Daily Star

Pandemic unemployment insurance ends Sept. 4

By John McPhaul

Labor and Human Resources Secretary Carlos J. Rivera Santiago announced Wednesday that Sept. 4 will be the last week that workers displaced by COVID-19 will be paid after the completion of benefits from temporary programs such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).

“Today, around 130,000 Unemployment and PUA claimants were notified, via email, about the imminent end of aid to workers affected by the pandemic. Throughout these 18 months, we have disbursed a total of $9,594,455,447.13 in federal and state funds to assist those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, either because they worked with an employer or were self-employed,” Rivera Santiago said. “At the end of this cycle of aid, we will focus on continuing to provide alternatives so that those without employment can rejoin the workforce as soon as possible and contribute their knowledge, skills and experience from where they can be useful to Puerto Rico.”

After the week of Sept. 4, only people who meet the requirements of the Unemployment Insurance Program will receive unemployment benefits.

In the case of PUA, if the person has not made an initial claim, they will have until Oct. 6 to apply for benefits. However, the last week payable for both the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and the PUA will be the week of Sept. 4.

Meanwhile, the last payable week of the unemployment benefit programs created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020 will also be the week of Sept. 4. Among those concluding programs is the PEUC, which provides benefits to individuals who have exhausted Unemployment Insurance. Similarly, the FPUC ends.

Likewise, Unemployment Compensation for Mixed Income Workers (MEUC) will also end. The aforementioned help provides a supplementary benefit for those who claim Unemployment Insurance benefits or any of its extensions and have also worked as self-employed.

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