Unemployment benefits running out for some Utahns after early COVID-19 layoffs

Posted at 7:44 AM, Sep 24, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY — Some Utahns who filed for unemployment due to COVID-19-related layoffs are reaching the end of the state's 26-week maximum duration of unemployment benefits.

Although the federal CARES Act can extend unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks, or until December 31, Utah Department of Workforce Services officials say the best course of action is to find new employment opportunities as soon as possible.

"Even if you're able to get on the extension and have the additional weeks, our fear is that people, if they aren't looking now, if they're not trying to find that next opportunity, that next job opportunity, if they're just relying on unemployment insurance benefits, it will end," said Utah DWS spokesman Nate McDonald. "And when it ends, there's nothing more, other than other public assistance programs, but not a wage replacement, and they'll be stuck in trying to compete for whatever jobs are available when that time comes."

Utah DWS is hosting a virtual job fair Thursday, and they're also offering a variety of workshops and online classes to help Utahns get back to work. Click here for details on those events.