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Iowa to end federal pandemic unemployment benefits next month
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Iowa to end federal pandemic unemployment benefits next month

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Citing strong labor market and recovering economy, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced she would end federal pandemic unemployment benefits effective June 12.

“Federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs initially provided displaced Iowans with crucial assistance when the pandemic began,” Reynolds said in a news release.

“But now that our businesses and schools have reopened, these payments are discouraging people from returning to work.”

“The overwhelming message we receive from employers these days is the lack of workforce that is adversely affecting their ability to recover from the pandemic,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development. “There are currently over 66,000 job openings posted on https://www.iowaworks.gov/vosnet/Default.aspx.”

Iowa will continue to pay regular unemployment claims.

Virus Outbreak Iowa

Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks on March 18 in Johnston, during her first news conference since the state surpassed one million administered doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Reynolds has eliminated pandemic-related unemployment benefits in Iowa starting next month.

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Those programs made up more than 80 percent of unemployment benefits paid in the week ending May 1 in Iowa. State unemployment benefits will remain in place. The minimum weekly payment for an unemployed Iowan without any dependents is $73.

In a news release, the state offered this information for claimants:

• Claimants who have exhausted their traditional 26 weeks of unemployment benefits and are now receiving benefits through the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program will no longer be eligible for UI payments after June 12, 2021, the last payable week for PEUC.

• Iowa will no longer issue supplemental $300 weekly payments to claimants under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. This payment was made to all Iowans who were receiving unemployment benefits regardless of the program under which they are being paid. The last payable week for FPUC will be the week ending June 12, 2021.

• Iowa will no longer participate in the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. PUA presently provides benefits to the self-employed, the underemployed, independent contractors, and individuals who have been unable to work due to health or COVID-19-related reasons. The last payable week for PUA will be the week ending June 12, 2021.

• Iowa will no longer participate in the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program, which offers supplemental payments to individuals who had both traditional W-2 income as well as self-employment income.

Starting June 13, Iowa will no longer waive employer charges for COVID-related unemployment insurance claims.

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