SD to end federal jobless benefits

PIERRE – South Dakota will end its participation in the federal government’s pandemic-related unemployment assistance programs, Gov. Kristi Noem and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation announced Wednesday.

“Businesses across the state continue to say they would grow and expand, if it wasn’t for the lack of workers. Help wanted signs line our streets,” state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman said. “South Dakota is, and has been, ‘Open for Business.’ Ending these programs is a necessary step towards recovery, growth, and getting people back to work.” 

South Dakota elected to participate in three unemployment-related programs in connection with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act of 2020, according to a SDDLR press release. 

• South Dakota will no longer participate in the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which affected claimants who have exhausted their traditional 26 weeks of regular State unemployment compensation.

• South Dakota will no longer issue supplemental $300 weekly payments to claimants under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. This payment was made to all claimants who were receiving unemployment benefits regardless of the program under which they are being paid. 

• South Dakota will no longer participate in the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. PUA currently provides benefits to the self-employed, the underemployed, independent contractors, and individuals who have been unable to work due to health or COVID-19-related reasons. 

The termination will be effective on the week ending June 26, for all three programs. South Dakota will continue to pay regular State claims. The agreement signed to initiate these programs allows South Dakota or the U.S. Department of Labor to terminate the programs upon 30 days’ written notice to the other party. 

“DLR’s online jobs database SDWORKS has averaged over 23,000 job openings daily,” Hultman added. “Our Job Service offices are open and ready to help and support those returning to the workforce, in need of additional skills or training, or who need an extra hand in overcoming barriers.”

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