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CARES Act – Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Economic Relief

NYS Unemployment and the CARES Act

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law March 27, 2020. The Act provides Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for individuals traditionally ineligible for unemployment insurance (e.g., Independent Contractors) as well as Pandemic Unemployment compensation providing an an additional $600 per week (on top of regular unemployment benefits) to all unemployment recipients until July 31, 2020 and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation providing an additional 13 weeks of unemployment beyond the 26 weeks already provided.

Additional information is available on the New York Department of Labor’s CARES Act web page including an FAQ document that explains the different benefit options.

CARES Act Economic Relief

The CARES Act also provides relief to small business owners to cover a variety of financial needs they may have right now including:

  • Capital to cover the cost of retaining employees under the Paycheck Protection Program,
  • A quick infusion of a smaller amount of cash to cover business right now under an Emergency Economic Injury Grant,
  • Assistance with keeping up with payments on their current or potential Small Business Association (SBA) loan with the Small Business Debt Relief Program, and
  • Free counseling to help businesses navigate this uncertain economic time.

To assist employers, the US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship has developed a comprehensive guide to many of the small business provisions.

Next Steps

Employers are encouraged work with their attorney and/or tax professional for guidance on these offerings.

HR Works, Inc., headquartered in Upsate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.