North Dakota to end participation in federal pandemic-related unemployment programs

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FILE – In this April 10, 2020, file photo, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks at the state Capitol in Bismarck, N.D. Lawmakers convene Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 either in person wearing masks or remotely for North Dakota’s 67th legislative session, where they will face tough spending choices amid a pandemic that’s hit a state economy already reeling from depressed oil and agriculture prices. The Republican governor is set to talk about the coronavirus’ impact on the state and other pandemic-induced challenges, including to the state’s budget.(Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

North Dakota will end its participation in the federal government’s pandemic-related unemployment assistance programs on June 19, Gov. Doug Burgum announced on Monday.

Burgum, in a press release, said this decision was to help address the “ongoing workforce shortage” in the state.

North Dakota participated in four unemployment-related programs through the CARES Act and Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act of 2020.

North Dakota’s written notice, from Burgum, to end the involvement was provided to the U.S. Department of Labor on Monday.

The following changes will take place on June 19:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
    • What It Is: benefits to the self-employed, the underemployed, independent contractors, and individuals who have been unable to work as a direct result of COVID-19. This includes individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 or instructed to quarantine.
    • How It Will Change: Beginning no sooner than 30 days from the date North Dakota provides written notice to USDOL, North Dakota will stop paying PUA benefits to existing claimants and not process any new PUA claims filed after the expiration of the notice period.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
    • What It Is: Extension of unemployment benefits for claimants beyond the traditional 20 weeks by an additional 51 weeks. PEUC allowed claimants to extend their time on unemployment where they normally would have expired.
    • How It Will Change: Beginning no sooner than 30 days from the date North Dakota provides written notice to USDOL, North Dakota claimants who have exhausted their regular UI benefits will no longer be eligible for payments.
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
    • What It Is: $300 weekly add-on benefit for all types of unemployment assistance.
    • How It Will Change: Beginning no sooner than 30 days from the date North Dakota provides written notice to USDOL, North Dakota will stop issuing the $300 weekly FPUC benefit payments for weeks after the expiration of the notice period.
  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)
    • What It Is: $100 weekly add-on benefit for those who are eligible for regular UI benefits, but also earned self-employment income.
    • How It Will Change: Beginning no sooner than 30 days from the date North Dakota provides written notice to USDOL, North Dakota will stop paying MEUC benefits to existing claimants and stop processing any MEUC claims received after the notice period.

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