By Lynn Sweet
13 April 2020
A group of Democratic senators, including Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, implored Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia on Monday to “eliminate ambiguity” and make sure self-employed gig workers qualify for newly available COVID-19 jobless benefits.
The letter, signed by 32 Democratic senators, notes part of the guidance issued by the Labor Department dealing with eligibility “appear narrow or ambiguous, which could make states think they need to exclude workers who Congress clearly intended to receive unemployment compensation through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.”
“While we believe that such workers are covered by the text of the law, we appreciate the Department’s action to eliminate ambiguity and ensure these workers receive benefits,” they added.
A package of unprecedented enhanced and extended unemployment benefits are in the emergency $2.2 trillion federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act — known as the CARES Act — signed into law March 27.
The CARES Act created the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, known as PUA. The Labor Department has the job of writing rules for states on executing the new program.
Read the full article in the Chicago Sun Times.