PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakotans receiving weekly unemployment benefits through programs funded by the CARES Act could see those benefits ending soon.

South Dakota currently provides benefits through three programs, two of which are federal programs created under the CARES Act.

The Regular State Unemployment Compensation (UC) is a state program that provides benefits to eligible claimants with the required amount of wages earned from a covered South Dakota employer in the relevant base period. This program provides a maximum of 26 weeks of benefits in one benefit year.

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program provides eligible claimants with up to 13 additional weeks of unemployment after depleting benefits from the Regular State UC program. 

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program provides benefits to those who are not working due to the COVID-19 pandemic nor are their wages earned by a covered South Dakota employer. Claimants who began to receive benefits through the PUA program early into the pandemic will soon be reaching the maximum 39 weeks of payments in the coming weeks.  

The Department of Labor and Regulation encourages claimants to continue to look for work so that they can secure employment before their benefits end.

The last day to claim federal unemployment benefits is Dec. 26, 2020.