Current Status of Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits: Permanent-Law Programs and COVID-19 Pandemic Response [February 17, 2021] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Summary: "The Unemployment Insurance (UI) system is constructed as a joint federal-state partnership, in which the Unemployment Compensation (UC) program and the UC benefit are the foundation of the UI system. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provides oversight of state UC programs and the state administration of federal UI benefits. Although there are broad requirements under federal law regarding UC benefits and financing, the specifics are set out under each state's laws, resulting in 53 different UC programs operated in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. States operate their own UC programs and administer any temporary, federal UI benefits. A state UC program determines the weekly benefit amount and the number of weeks of UC available to unemployed workers. Most states provide up to 26 weeks of UC to eligible individuals who become involuntarily unemployed for economic reasons and meet state-established eligibility rules. The UI system's two main objectives are to provide temporary and partial wage replacement to involuntarily unemployed workers and to stabilize the economy during recessions. [...] In response to the recent recession caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Congress created several temporary UI programs through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136), and extended these programs through Division N, Title II, Subtitle A of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260; the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020, or 'Continued Assistance Act')."
CRS Report for Congress, R46687
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/