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KDOL begins issuing unemployment benefits to self-employed Kansans

(WBKO)
Published: May. 20, 2020 at 3:13 PM CDT
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Update Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The Kansas Department of Labor has started processing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to more Kansas workers impacted by COVID-19, including self-employed workers.

PUA is a broad program that expands access to unemployment to self-employed Kansans, in addition to what state and federal law already pay. This includes those who traditionally are not able to get unemployment.

The KDOL says it processed more than 1 million claims overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. Those with direct deposit should see the money in their accounts Thursday or Friday.

Those without direct deposit will get the benefits on a debit card sent to them within seven to 10 days.

The KDOL says it is reviewing nearly 24,000 PUA applications to determine if more self-employed workers qualify for the benefits.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

After accepting applications, the Kansas Department of Labor next week begins issuing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to more Kansas workers impacted by COVID-19.

PUA is a broad program that expands access to unemployment to self-employed Kansans, in addition to what state and federal law already pay. This includes those who traditionally are not able to get unemployment.

There is a slight delay from the initial schedule do to next Monday (May 25) being Memorial Day. The KDOL says benefits will be paid out Tuesday (May 26).

The good news the department reports is that it will be able to issue more payments each day. In all, data from the KDOL shows more than 110,000 Kansans filed unemployment claims last week. This comes as the state works to launch new programs, including the PUA.

The State of Kansas next week will send out determination letters, which tell applicants if they qualify for the program. Those with direct deposit can expect two to three days for payments to process. Those with a state-issued debit card could have to wait seven to 10 days.

The state says it's preparing to send out a lot of money next week between the new program (PUA) and retroactive payments from the CARES Act for Kansans who were already receiving unemployment, dating back to late March.

Last week, the KDOL reported it was not allowed to send out more than $75 million per day and the back-payment pot added up to about $154 million.

"We've had that increased, and we are also doing projected calculations to see just how much money we anticipate paying on (May 26), so we can ask for temporary increases on these caps so those individuals get payments ASAP," KDOL Secretary Delia Garcia says.

The KDOL on Tuesday also gave an update on the 13-week extension available for Kansans who have already exhausted their benefits. The state says it will start this program in the next 11 days, before June, and is already working on building the application process for the approximate three-month extension.

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