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MONTGOMERY — Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced Thursday that the state has begun paying the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit that was established with the passing of the federal CARES Act in late March.

ADOL began paying the benefits Wednesday. Residents whose claims have processed should expect to see the funds within two to three days, if not sooner. ADOL paid $40.06 million in FPUC benefits to 60,848 claimants this week.

Under the legislation, anyone receiving unemployment compensation benefits is eligible for the additional $600-per-week stimulus payment. The payment is added to the recipient’s state weekly benefit amount (maximum of $275 per week).

The payments will be made for eligible weeks from March 29 through July 25. This does not refer to the date the original claim was filed, but to the weeks being claimed.

For example, if someone filed his or her initial claim March 16 and remains out of work, he or she will not receive the additional $600 for the weeks beginning March 15 or March 22, but would receive it for the week beginning March 29 and all weeks going forward.

ADOL will retroactively make payments for weeks already claimed since March 29.

“We understand the frustration of many Alabamians who are out of work due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and we know that they need these benefits to stay afloat,” Washington said. “We are working as hard as we can to make sure that everyone gets the benefits they need as quickly as they can. We are one of the first states to begin distributing these funds. We continue to urge patience as the department works to implement this vital legislation.”

Programs included in the legislation are:

» Pandemic Unemployment Assistance — This provides unemployment benefits to those not ordinarily eligible for them. This includes people who are self-employed or contract employees. This benefit is retroactive to Jan. 27.

» Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation — This provides $600 per week to any person eligible for any of the unemployment compensation programs. This benefit begins March 29.

» Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation — This allows for an additional 13 weeks of benefits to be added to the end of regular unemployment benefits. Claimants can collect unemployment benefits for a longer period than usual.

ADOL is encouraging anyone who believes he or she may be eligible for these programs to file a claim at www.labor. or 866-234-5382. Online filing is strongly encouraged.

Those who already have an active claim or who have already filed a claim, do not need to refile to be eligible for the benefits. ADOL will begin processing PUA and PEUC claims as soon as administratively possible.

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