Biden Administration Heeds Call by Shaheen & Hassan, Announces Unemployment Insurance Fix

February 25, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that it will heed calls by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) to fix a policy that has limited the ability of workers whose hours have been reduced or were temporarily laid off from receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). The Senators were joined in their call by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Mark Warner (D-VA).

“Federal unemployment insurance has been a lifeline for working Granite State families who have borne the burden of the pandemic’s economic fallout, allowing them to afford their mortgage and rent, pay bills and put food on the table,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m very pleased that the Biden administration heeded our call and took action to correct an unfair policy that had prevented New Hampshire workers who have been laid off from their jobs or seen their hours reduced as a result of the pandemic from receiving unemployment assistance. Now more than ever, we need to ensure those hardest hit by the pandemic are able to access the resources they need to stay afloat without facing barriers.”

“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Granite Staters missing paychecks through no fault of their own must have access to the pandemic unemployment assistance that Congress created through the CARES Act,” Senator Hassan said. “I am very glad that the Department of Labor heeded my call to ensure that those who have been temporarily laid off or had their hours reduced can receive the assistance that they need to support their families and get by at this difficult time.”

 The Senators raised this issue after hearing from constituents who have been denied Pandemic Unemployment Assistance even though they had their hours reduced or have been temporarily laid off due to changes in how businesses are operating amid the COVID-19 pandemic.