Benefits for Self-Employed – Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) FAQs

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act creates a new temporary federal program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

In general, PUA provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits, including those who have exhausted all rights to such benefits.

Individuals covered under PUA include the self-employed (e.g. independent contractors, gig economy workers, and workers for certain religious entities), those seeking part-time employment, individuals lacking sufficient work history, and those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits.

The Department of Labor and Industry plans to start accepting applications this Friday, April 17th. This program (PUA Benefits) is separate from the standard unemployment program and requires a separate registration. There will be a new application link so please DON’T apply using the existing link or your claim will be rejected.

Once the program is open, people will be eligible to receive backdated payments to January 27, or the first week they were unable to work due to COVID-19, whichever of the two dates is later.