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South Dakota to End Federal Pandemic Unemployment Benefits

South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation 

123 W. Missouri Ave. 

Pierre, SD 57501 



For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 12, 2021 
Media Contact: Dawn Dovre, 605-773-3101 


South Dakota to End Federal Pandemic Unemployment Benefits


PIERRE, SD – Today, Governor Kristi Noem and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) announced South Dakota will terminate its participation in the federal government’s pandemic-related unemployment assistance programs.


“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,” said state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman. “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 was the only state to not apply for the federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) supplement last fall. Additionally, South Dakota did not opt into the federal Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program in December 2020.


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.


  • South Dakota will no longer participate in the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) 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 (FPUC) 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 (PUA) 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, 2021, 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,” continued Secretary Hultman. “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.”


To search for new jobs or receive virtual employment services, visit www.sdjobs.org.


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