State labor department outlines Pandemic jobless act


The Delaware Department of Labor has issued guidance on the new unemployment program.

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability Act (CARES Act) created a new program called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits to eligible workers.


If your benefits exhausted or expired between the dates of July 1, 2019 and Saturday, April 18, 2020, you will need to apply for the 13-week extension after 8 a.m. on Sunday April 19, 2020 by visiting and completing an application for benefits

If you are currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits and they will not exhaust or expire until after Sunday April 19, 2020, you do not have to take any action. When your current benefits have been exhausted, your additional 13-week extension will automatically begin.

What you need to know

Beginning March 29, 2020, for any week you are eligible to receive PEUC benefits, you will also be eligible for the $600 additional federal payment.

Under the CARES Act, you will continue to receive the same unemployment benefit amount during the 13 week extension. That amount will not be recalculated. You will also receive the $600 per week of additional federal compensation.

Congress recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This law includes several programs to expand eligibility for unemployment benefits during this health emergency.
These changes include:

  • $600 per week additional compensation for people receiving unemployment benefits.
  • An extension of unemployment benefits for up to 13 weeks.
  • Provides eligibility for workers who typically do not qualify for traditional unemployment insurance, such as: independent contractors, self-employed individuals, employees of faith-based non-profits, and others) View the guidelines here.

Delaware was one of the first states in the nation to begin the implementation of the CARES Act. Disbursement of the $600 per week additional federal benefit to Delaware unemployment insurance recipients began during the week of April 5th; one week after the passage of the law.

To view updated frequently asked questions regarding unemployment insurance, and to be notified when the application for benefits is available for self-employed individuals and independent contractors in Delaware, text 555888.

Additional resources are available on our websites at or You can also call the department’s offices at 302-761-8446.
Call hold time is longer than usual. For a quicker response please email Include your full name, including middle initial, contact information and claim number.

To process an initial claim for unemployment benefits please visit

Delawareans with questions about coronavirus or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 or 711 for people who are hearing impaired from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or email . For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to

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