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KDOL: Federal unemployment benefits to end day after Christmas
department of labor

TOPEKA – On Wednesday the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) announced that Kansans currently receiving unemployment benefits through two federally funded CARES Act programs, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs, would no longer be able to claim benefits after Dec. 26.  

“I am hopeful that Congress will act quickly to pass legislation that extends these important federal programs that so many have come to count on,” said Acting Secretary of Labor, Ryan Wright. “States only administer these programs and we cannot extend them.  

“However, as the administrator for the programs, we are obligated to inform people that they are going to lose their benefits. Unless Congress acts, these benefits end on Dec. 26,” said Wright. 

“Terminating these programs during the middle of a pandemic, the day after Christmas, when thousands of people remain unemployed is unconscionable,” added Wright. “These programs have helped people buy groceries, pay rent or make utility payments while they look for employment opportunities or help care for their families during the global crisis.” 

Kansans are encouraged to reach out to their members of Congress with their concerns, by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121. On Nov. 23, KDOL announced that the U.S. Department of Labor notified the state that Kansas has officially “triggered off” of the unemployment insurance Extended Benefits (EB) program, bringing the program to its end. The federal agency’s announcement means that Kansans’ last payable week on the EB program will be the week ending Dec. 12.

PEUC is a CARES Act program that delivers to eligible claimants up to an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits after they exhaust their benefits through Kansas’ Unemployment Insurance program. Per current federal law, this program ends on Dec. 26.  

PUA is also a CARES Act program that provides benefits to workers not traditionally covered by unemployment insurance, including self-employed individuals and religious, contract or gig workers. PUA lasts up to a maximum of 39 weeks. If a claimant exhausts benefits on the PUA program, he or she is not eligible for any other unemployment program. 

If a claimant has been approved but has not received payment for any of these programs, or the case is awaiting adjudication or determination, any outstanding weekly benefit payment approved by KDOL will be paid accordingly even if the federal program has ended.  

Since March 15, KDOL has paid out more than 3.2 million weekly claims totaling over $2.3 billion between regular unemployment and the federal pandemic programs.

For more information, or to apply for unemployment benefits, go to

For more information on the EB announcement, go to