Labor Dept. announces $465M federal unemployment benefits payout
The Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources announced the disbursement of a combined $465 million in unemployment benefits, split between $371.3 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments and $94 million in retroactive disbursements.
Labor Secretary Carlos J. Rivera-Santiago confirmed that the latter payout covers the retroactive weekly payments of the $300 approved under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) emergency program.
Both initiatives fall under the “Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act of 2020” federal statute.
Beneficiaries do not need to take any steps to receive the benefits, which will be sent automatically, said Rivera-Santiago.
The disbursement of the FPUC began the week of Jan. 2, 2021 and will end on the week of March 13, 2021. The claimants who selected direct deposit will see their compensation reflected in their accounts on Saturday, while those who selected to get paid by check will receive several days later.
“If the claimant is receiving unemployment insurance benefits during this period, they could receive the additional $300 on a weekly basis. They could also receive retroactive payments of the FPUC, if eligible,” Rivera-Santiago said.
Meanwhile, he said that so far, some $277.2 million in FPUC benefits have been paid out so far.
“Because the PUA claimants have a more modern platform than the unemployed system, they have been receiving the compensation since the second week of January, and that’s why the amount disbursed is higher than the one for regular unemployment applicants,” he said.