The Wyoming Department of Workforces Services reports that workers have received more than $42 million in unemployment insurance benefits since the pandemic began in the state.
The money is a combination of state unemployment insurance (UI) funds and federal emergency aid. Holly McKamey Simoni, the agency's Workforce Programs Administrator, said distributing funds is the top priority.
"The Department of Workforce Services unemployment insurance division is working around the clock to get benefits to those who have been unable to work due to the coronavirus," she said. "Right now, our priority is getting pandemic unemployment assistance benefits to self employed independent contractors, gig economy workers and others not normally eligible for UI benefits. We understand the urgency for folks and we are working diligently to get benefits paid as quickly as possible."
In addition, Simoni says the agency will soon implement The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. The federal program will provide thirteen weeks of additional unemployment compensation for eligible workers. The Department of Workforce Services are expecting that individuals will be able to apply by the first week of May.
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