The recently approved federal COVID-19 relief package includes an extension of federal unemployment benefits.

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services is working to provide these provisions, though DWS must receive guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor before implementing the changes. Once the guidance is received, those changes will require DWS to reprogram the Unemployment Insurance system before payments can be issued.

“Many Wyoming workers are still struggling with unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Holly McKamey Simoni, Workforce Programs Administrator for DWS. “The legislation passed just before Christmas and signed by President Trump on Sunday will once more assist those who would not qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance.”

The COVID-19 relief package extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs. Both of these programs expired on Dec. 26, but the relief package extends them to March 13.

The legislation also renews the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which provides an additional $300 per week payment to those receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits. No claims can be backdated to a date before these programs’ effective start date of Dec. 27.

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