The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) said on Tuesday, Dec. 29, that new legislation recently passed by Congress may impact the unemployment benefits for residents of the North Star State.

The legislation, effective Dec. 27, will provide:

· 11 more weeks of benefits under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

· 11 more weeks of benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

· A $300 per week supplemental payment to anyone receiving unemployment benefits from any program.

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· A new program called Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation, which provides a $100 per week supplemental payment for certain self-employed people/independent contractors who are collecting regular unemployment benefits.

The information provided is based on initial readings of the new law, the department said in a news release on Tuesday.

DEED expects to start making payments for all three programs during the week of Jan. 3, 2021, when the week of Dec. 27, 2020 first becomes requestable. However, it needs to receive official administrative guidance and funding from the U.S. Department of Labor before it can make any payments.

DEED said it is doing what it can to get the federal programs set up and ready to go by Jan. 3.

“To the greatest extent possible, we will simply move applicants to the program they are eligible for, and they will be able to request benefits (and get paid) on their usual schedule,” according to the news statement. “However, the new laws are a little different from the previous versions. There will be times when we may need more information from some applicants.”

The department said it will contact individuals by email and letter if it needs a potential recipient to take any special action.

“We appreciate your patience as we make adjustments to your benefit account,” the statement reads.

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