KDOL could make move on paying federal extension benefits ‘as early as tomorrow,’ Gov. Kelly says

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — For the thousands of Kansans waiting to have their unemployment claims addressed, there may be money coming soon. In a press conference Thursday, Governor Laura Kelly said the department is not far from paying out extended benefits from the U.S. Department of Labor.

“We are up and ready to go with the $300 extra money from the federal department of labor,” Gov. Kelly said. “I think those checks will start going out as early as tomorrow.”

The extra $300 payments are part of the federal assistance provided through FPUC, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.

A spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Labor said the following in an email Thursday when asked about the status of extension benefits noted in the Continued Assistance Act, which gives states the option to extend benefits for PEUC, Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, and PUA, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance:

“In terms of the Continued Assistance Act, we have received guidance from U.S.DOL and are in the process of moving forward on implementing those programs. In the very near future, we will be announcing next steps on those programs.”

The Continued Assistance Act also creates a new program, MEUC, Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation, providing an additional $100 per week payment to individuals who are receiving regular UI benefits and earned at least $5,000 in net earnings from self-employment in the tax year prior to the individual’s initial claim.

As of Tuesday, the department’s regular unemployment insurance backlog stands at about 66 claims. The department has hired 450 new temporary employees in the call center to address claimants. But, thousands of claimants are still going without pay, as the department tackles a high volume of unemployment and fraud claims.

Kansas’ Capitol Bureau reached out to the department for an update on the status of fraud, unemployment insurance and other federal programs Thursday. See their list of updated information in the document below.

KDOL Updated Information 1/21/21 by Rebekah Chung on Scribd