Unemployment recipients in Minnesota whose payments were due to run out have been extended for a further 13 weeks of benefits.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced that as of Wednesday, the agency has "fully implemented" the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program.
It means that Minnesotans who have exhausted their unemployment benefits for the year – if for example they were on unemployment before the coronavirus pandemic hit and now find themselves unemployed again because of it – may apply for a further 13 weeks of payments.
DEED Commissioner Steve Grove says this affects around 8,000 Minnesotans.
"This is the second of three CARES Act programs which DEED has quickly implemented to help those most in need during the COVID-19 crisis," he said.
"Approximately 8,000 people have exhausted or will soon exhaust their Minnesota unemployment insurance benefits. With PEUC fully implemented, those individuals will now be eligible for an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance in addition to the $600 additional compensation payments we implemented last week."
Minnesota is one of the first states to implement the PEUC extension. It comes at a time when more than 460,000 people have applied for unemployment since the statewide shutdown started in mid-March.