25K Vermonters navigating PUA benefit program
The Vermont Department of Labor Thursday provided an update on its ongoing efforts to process the flood of unemployment claims, including from the self-employed.
There's currently about 25,000 Vermonters in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Labor officials say over 13,629 people have completed the application and 12,900 are eligible. As of Wednesday, an additional 8,000 people were switched from regular benefits to the new PUA system.
Many applicants have questions about how the department calculates weekly benefits. Labor officials say they first have to meet a financial threshold. "In looking at your four quarters in someone's base period, we take the two highest earning quarters, add them together and then divide by 45, and that's how we come up with someone's weekly benefit amount," said the department's Cameron Wood.
On top of normal benefits, the department is also adding on an additional $600 from the federal Pandemic Relief Fund.