Each state manages and funds its own unemployment benefits program according to federal guidelines. However, the federal government can fund extensions and expansions of benefits through legislation, like they did during the pandemic.
See our timeline below that shows key dates for these programs.
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program added a weekly supplement of $600 to the amount individuals received in state unemployment. This supplement was later reduced to $300.
Total dollar amount issued: $439 billion
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program expanded eligibility to workers who cannot receive traditional unemployment benefits − self-employed workers, gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors. Additional pandemic relief legislation allowed these benefits to last for up to 79 weeks.
Total dollar amount issued: $130 billion
The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program extended the length of time that individuals can receive unemployment benefits. Generally, benefits are available for up to 26 weeks, but the PEUC program enabled individuals to claim them for up to 79 weeks.
Total dollar amount issued: $84 billion
Note: Dollar amounts are as of October 23, 2021. See the Department of Labor's breakdown for more details on how much each state has received in federal funding.
To see what federal, state, and local agencies found in their unemployment program reviews, check out their reports here.