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If your job has been impacted by COVID-19 and you need to file for unemployment OR need to check your claim status...

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

December 28, 2020

The PUA program will provide unemployment benefits to those not ordinarily eligible for them for up to 39 weeks. This includes individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, 1099 independent contractors, employees of churches, employees of non-profits, or those with limited work history who do not qualify for state unemployment benefits.
Step 1: Individual files a regular state unemployment claim. A claimant will receive 2 emails - one stating that the claim was received and another stating the claim was processed.

Step 2: Individual receives a Benefits Determination letter, which shows if a claimant has enough wages to determine a valid regular state unemployment claim. If so, an individual receives a second determination letter (Claims Examiner's Determination) informing the claimant if state benefits are approved or denied.
Step 3: Individuals not eligible to receive state unemployment benefits receive notification by email with a link to the application or will find a link to the PUA application in their My UI portal.
Step 4: Individual completes the PUA application and submits for processing.  An email is sent confirming processing of the application and informing the applicant of the date when he/she can begin certifying for benefits.  The email also contains a link for certifying and provides a secure email address to send employment and wage documentation for Tax Year January 1 to December 31, 2019. Applicants need to certify (request payment) for all eligible weeks since the closing of their business due to COVID-19. A weekly determination amount is decided and the claimant receives a PUA Benefits Determination letter in the mail stating the weekly benefit amount. If an applicant is able to establish a valid claim, he/she receives a PUA Claims Examiner's Determination letter informing the claimant if benefits are approved or denied.

The GDOL modified its current online unemployment application adding new questions to better identify those individuals who may be eligible for PUA. These individuals must be determined not eligible for state benefits before being evaluated for federal PUA benefits. If a claimant receives at least one dollar in federal PUA benefits, they will be eligible for the weekly $600 supplement that will be back paid from the implemented date of 4/4/2020.

Applicants are asked to provide documentation to prove wages. The past wages used to establish your PUA claim may use income not normally covered by regular state unemployment, such as contract labor or self-employment earnings.
Acceptable Proof of Wages/Income Used for PUA Claims 

  • Proof of wages/income for the most recently completed Tax Year January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019
    • If you are an employee or 1099 independent contractor, you can send copies of pay stubs, earning statements, IRS Form W-2 or IRS Form 1099 and federal income tax Form 1040 and Schedule C, F, or SE.
    • If you are self-employed, you can send IRS Form 1040 and a copy of Schedule 1, 2, C, F or SE tax return.

Individuals who have already filed a claim with the GDOL and have been determined not eligible for state unemployment benefits, but may be potentially eligible to receive benefits under this program, do NOT have to refile a claim. These individuals will be identified and will receive notification by email with a link to the application or will find a link to the application in their My UI portal.