KDOL Press Release Feb. 19, 2021

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Unemployment Claimants: KDOL Feb. 19 Press Release

While hundreds of KDOL claimants on social media sites lament that they received no payments today, a much anticipated KDOL promise of February 19, 2021 date for payments to be released to unemployment claimants of the Kansas Department of Labor has been clarified today by KDOL communications director Jerry Grasso.

The press release clarifies that 4800 claimants will begin receiving “Phase 1 of the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program” payments and that 370 claimants will be receiving “Phase Two and Three” payments – beginning the week of March 1.

The reasons for the delays in payments was also clarified. The press release states that KDOL “had to write new code to update its antiquated mainframe technology” and test these changes before issue payments. Additionally, the press release states that Governor Kelly urged the state legislature “to pass relief legislation in the fall of 2020 to avoid a pause in federal program payouts – PUA and PEUC – that were set expire on December 26, 2020. But former President Trump did not sign the relief package until December 27.”

The Press release is shared in total by HeartKC as follows:

401 SW Topeka Blvd. Topeka, KS 66603-3182

Amber Shultz, Acting Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 19, 2021

Contact: Jerry Grasso Communications Director 785-296-0901 KDOL.Communications@ks.gov

Communications Division

Phone: (785) 296-0901 Fax: (785) 296-0753 KDOL.Communications@ks.gov dol.ks.gov

Laura Kelly, Governor

KDOL Begins Paying Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Today

Topeka – The Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) today announced that Phase 1 of the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program extension has begun paying out to approximately 4,800 claimants. Approximately 370 Phase Two and Three claimants will begin receiving payments beginning the week of March 1.

Due to U.S. DOL guidance and requirements, KDOL has had to write new code to update its antiquated mainframe technology and test the solutions to be able to execute PEUC payments for Phase Two and Three claimants.

KDOL and the Kelly Administration had previously urged congress to pass relief legislation in the fall of 2020 to avoid a pause in federal program payouts – PUA and PEUC – that were set expire on December 26, 2020. But former President Trump did not sign the relief package until December 27.

PEUC is a temporary federal extension of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits established under the CARES Act that provided 13 additional weeks of benefits to claimants who exhausted their regular UI benefits. The Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020 (Continued Assistance Act), increased the maximum amount of benefits available under the PEUC program from 13 weeks to 24 weeks.

Important information for PEUC claimants:
For all claimants eligible for PEUC payment, please continue to file for weekly claims at

http://www.GetKansasBenefits.gov.

Without further federal action, the PEUC program will expire on March 14, 2021, meaning the last payable week for PEUC is the week ending March 13, 2021. If you receive a PEUC payment for the week ending March 13, 2021 and have remaining entitlement on your claim, you may be eligible to participate in a phase- out period and may continue to collect PEUC through week ending April 10, 2021.

Claimants who establish PEUC eligibility with respect to weeks of unemployment beginning on or after Dec. 27, 2020 are potentially eligible for 24 weeks of PEUC benefits.

401 SW Topeka Blvd. Topeka, KS 66603-3182

Amber Shultz, Acting Secretary

Communications Division

Phone: (785) 296-0901 Fax: (785) 296-0753 KDOL.Communications@ks.gov dol.ks.gov

Laura Kelly, Governor

Any claimant who established eligibility for PEUC before Dec. 27, 2020 (including those who have exhausted PEUC and current PEUC recipients), and who continue to meet all eligibility requirements, will have 11 weeks of benefits added to their PEUC accounts (i.e. the difference between the new amount of 24 weeks and the previously-established amount of 13 weeks). The additional amounts of PEUC are only payable for weeks of unemployment beginning on or after Dec. 27, 2020.

Claimants currently receiving benefits under the PEUC program should continue to file weekly claims if they remain unemployed. Claimants who are unemployed after Dec. 27, 2020 with a previous PEUC claim, but are no longer filing for benefits under any UI benefit program, may reopen their PEUC claims. Claimants currently filing a claim under the PUA program who previously exhausted PEUC, and who continue to be unemployed, will need to reopen their PEUC claim because of the additional PEUC benefits available. Claimants may only collect PUA if they have exhausted all entitlement to PEUC.

Since March 15, 2020, KDOL has paid out over 4 million weekly claims totaling over $2.7 billion between regular unemployment and the federal pandemic programs. For more information, or to apply for unemployment benefits, go to www.GetKansasBenefits.gov. Since installing the department’s new security patch last week, KDOL has blocked nearly five million fraudulent login attempts.


401 SW Topeka Blvd. Topeka, KS 66603-3182

Amber Shultz, Acting Secretary

Communications Division

Phone: (785) 296-0901 Fax: (785) 296-0753 KDOL.Communications@ks.gov dol.ks.gov

Laura Kelly, Governor

Continued Assistance Act PEUC Extension Information

• Today, KDOL announced that the agency has begun paying out PEUC. We want to provide some more details on PEUC payments

Phase1–Phase1paymentshavebeguntoprocessfor approximately 4,800 claimants, including:

 Claimants with an existing PEUC claim with a remaining balance that stopped paying after 12/26/20, the date the original CARES Act benefits ended

  •   Claimants with a previous PEUC claim that had exhausted the first 13 weeks allowed prior to or on 12/26/20
  •   The total amount of dollars processed for payment in Phase 1, to date, is about $5,150,500o Phase 2 – This group includes claimants who exhausted regular benefits on 12/26/20 or after, the date the original CARES Act benefits ended Due to U.S Dept. of Labor guidance and requirements, KDOL has to write new code to update its antiquated mainframe technology and test it to be able to execute all elements of PEUC payment
    •   In regards to the antiquated mainframe technology, there is limited COBOL VSAM language programming expertise and talent available to work on the technology, further delaying the timeline and rollout of PEUC payment
    •   Due to the requirements and other limitations outlined above, Phase 2 claimants will be able to begin to file applications and receive payments within the next two- to-three weeks
    •   The total number of claimants at this time in Phase 2 includes approximately 307 claimantsPhase3–Thisgroupincludesclaimantswhoaretransitioningtoanewbenefityearand their new weekly benefit amount is less than what they were receiving on PEUC. A claimant in this group must choose to either remain on PEUC or Regular UI benefits, but cannot be on both simultaneously Due to the technological and work force challenges outlined above in Phase 2, Phase 3 claimants will also be paid within the next two-to-three weeks. These claimants will have option to stay on PEUC or stay on regular benefits The total number of claimants at this time in Phase 3 includes approximately 60 claimantso ClaimantsinPhase2orPhase3shouldcontinuetofileweeklyclaimsuntilthe implementation is completed
  • Payment – Verified and approved claimants receive a direct deposit into their checking account within 2-3 business days. Those who receive benefits on a debit card are paid the morning after their claim is approved
  • If a claimant is having an issue filing a claim, the person should make sure she/he has registered her/his new account with KDOL’s new security system software, and has properly applied for the

401 SW Topeka Blvd. Topeka, KS 66603-3182

Amber Shultz, Acting Secretary

Communications Division

Phone: (785) 296-0901 Fax: (785) 296-0753 KDOL.Communications@ks.gov dol.ks.gov

Laura Kelly, Governor

program. If a claimant has questions, she/he can ask questions through KDOL’s chat bot,

Amelia, or call our contact center at 800-292-6333
• From 03/15/20 – 02/13/21, 37,446 people received PEUC