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DISCLAIMER: This page provides general information only. This is not legal advice. You can only obtain legal advice from a lawyer. If you can’t afford a lawyer, there are some free resources available. Click here for help finding a lawyer. Equal Justice Wyoming makes every effort to keep referral information, legal educational materials, and related forms up-to-date and in accordance with state and federal law. However, Equal Justice Wyoming does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.
Click here for information about the CARES Act
Click here for information about rental assistance
Click here for information about COVID-19 from the Wyoming Department of Health
Click here for information about COVID-19 from the Wyoming Judicial Branch
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has provided resources for landlords and tenants to assist in setting up repayment plans and avoid evictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for resources for landlords. Click here for resources for tenants.
U.S. Department Of Labor Announces New Guidance to States On Unemployment Insurance Programs (12/30/2020)
On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The guidance provides states with important information about several provisions of the law, including the extension of programs first authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) earlier this year.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program created by the CARES Act, which provides UI benefits to gig workers and others not traditionally eligible for them. Under the law, the end of the period of applicability for the PUA program extends to those weeks of unemployment ending on or before March 14, 2021. In states where the week of unemployment ends on a Sunday, the last payable week of PUA is the week ending March 14, 2021 (March 13 if weeks of unemployment end on Saturday). For individuals on PUA who have not exhausted their benefit eligibility of up to 50 weeks, the program also provides for continuing benefits for eligible individuals for weeks of unemployment through April 5, 2021. The law also strengthens documentation requirements to ensure integrity.
Additionally, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program (FPUC), which expired July 31, 2020, is reauthorized and modified to provide $300 per week to supplement benefits for weeks of unemployment beginning after December 26, 2020, and ending on or before March 14, 2021.
Wyoming Department of Workforce Services works with Department of Labor to implement COVID relief programs (1/4/2021)
The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) is working diligently to provide these provisions, though DWS must receive guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor before implementing the changes. Once the guidance is received, those changes will require DWS to reprogram the Unemployment Insurance system before payments can be issued.
Once the guidance from the Department of Labor is received, it may take several weeks to reprogram the system. DWS will provide updates as they become available at WyomingWorkforce.org. Claimants who are filing PUA or PEUC claims need to wait to file until a notice is posted on WyomingWorkforce.org stating that the updated system is in place. Please do not file PUA or PEUC claims at this time. Regular UI claims can be filed now and should not be delayed.
The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. This law has significant implications for Wyoming residents who are unemployed or will become unemployed. For in-depth information about the CARES act, click here to visit the National Employment Law Project’s page. Basic information can be found below:
How will my unemployment benefits be affected by COVID-19?
The CARES act states that any person receiving unemployment insurance will receive an additional six hundred dollars per week in “Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation” (FPUC). The FPUC program is set to run out on July 31, 2020. You do not have to apply for FPUC.
What if my unemployment benefits run out?
If a person’s twenty-six weeks of unemployment benefits run out, or ran out sometime after July 1, 2019, that person will now be eligible for thirteen additional weeks of unemployment benefits, in the form of “Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation” (PEUC). In Wyoming, PEUC payments will cover weeks of unemployment beginning on March 29 for those who qualify. We are awaiting details about how Wyoming residents may apply for PEUC.
What if I am unable to work due to COVID-19, but would not traditionally qualify for unemployment in Wyoming?
Many people who would typically be ineligible for unemployment in Wyoming will now receive the equivalent of unemployment benefits in the form of “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance” (PUA). The CARES Act specifies that PUA covers self-employed people, people seeking part-time employment, those lacking in work history, and any others who would not traditionally qualify for unemployment but are otherwise able to work AND are currently being prevented from working by one of the following COVID-19-related factors (See CARES Act for exact language):
- A COVID-19 diagnosis, or the diagnosis of a member of one’s household
- COVID-19 symptoms for which one is seeking diagnosis
- Primary caregiving responsibility for someone whose school or other institution has closed because of COVID-19
- The need to quit one’s job due to COVID-19
- The closure of one’s workplace due to COVID-19, or the inability to start working at a place where one had been scheduled to begin working, due to COVID-19
- A governmental stay-at-home or quarantine order, or instructions to self-quarantine from a healthcare professional
- The need to become a household’s main breadwinner or major support due to death of the head of household from COVID-19
- Other factors chosen by the Secretary of Labor
This program does NOT include people who are able to work remotely with pay, or who are receiving paid leave from work. PUA recipients will also receive the weekly $600 of FPUC benefits. The Department of Workforce Services is now accepting applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. You can click here to file for PUA benefits on the Wyoming Unemployment Insurance website or by calling 307-473-3789 or toll-free at 1-888-674-7699.
*After you apply for PUA, you may be notified that you do not qualify for standard UI benefits. This does not mean that you do not qualify for PUA benefits. Your application for PUA will be processed after it has been determined that you do not qualify for standard UI.*
Click here for a list of information that you should have before filing for PUA.
For information about applying for unemployment in Wyoming, click here to visit Wyoming Workforce Service’s FAQs page. To apply for unemployment, click here to visit the Wyoming Unemployment Insurance website.
If you are in need of rental assistance, please contact Legal Aid of Wyoming or the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
Wyoming Community Development Authority is no longer accepting applications to the Wyoming Emergency Housing Assistance Program
Congress approves $25 Billion in Rental Assistance
If you have legal questions and would like to ask a Wyoming lawyer, visit Wyoming Free Legal Answers. Wyoming Free Legal Answers is a free service for low-income Wyoming residents who cannot afford a lawyer. Go to https://wyoming.freelegalanswers.org to get free legal advice about civil (non-criminal) legal problems from volunteer lawyers.
Easy as 1, 2, 3:
- Go to https://wyoming.freelegalanswers.org and create an account.
- Use the website to ask your question.
- A lawyer will answer you on the website.
Equal Justice Wyoming manages Wyoming Free Legal Answers. It is part of the American Bar Association’s Free Legal Answers project.
You may also call the statewide civil legal aid hotline operated by Legal Aid of Wyoming at 1-877-432-9955. The hotline is available Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.