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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.

If you believe you're eligible based on the information in the FAQs below, you can now File for PUA

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​How do I know if I should apply for "regular" unemployment compensation (UC) or for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)?

​How do I know if I am eligible for PUA?

​How do I apply for PUA?

​How do I determine if I am "self-employed"?

​I have never worked before.  Am I eligible for PUA?

​I am a small business owner. Am I eligible for PUA? 

​How will my weekly benefit amount be calculated if I don't provide proof of base period wages? 

​How much will I receive in PUA benefits?

​I already filed a "regular" UC claim, but it looks like I'm eligible under PUA.  What should I do?

​Am I eligible for the extra $600 a week that people collecting UC receive?

​How long will these benefits be available?

​I'm able to telework.  Can I collect benefits under PUA?

​My hours have been reduced. Can I collect benefits under PUA?

​My employer remains open, but I am on paid leave.  Should I file for PUA instead?

​Am I eligible for PUA if I had to quit my job because I tested positive for COVID-19 or was being treated by a medical professional for COVID-19 symptoms and could not telework or otherwise continue work activities?

​Am I eligible for PUA if I had to quit my job because I came in direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been diagnosed by a medical professional as having COVID-19, and, on the advice of a qualified medical health professional I was required to resign from my job in order to quarantine? 

​I work in the gig economy. Am I eligible for PUA?

​I am self-employed and my income and hours have declined greatly because of COVID-19. Am I eligible for PUA? 

​I am self-employed. While I was working, I was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Am I eligible for PUA?

​I have penalty weeks to serve on my UC claim.  Am I eligible to receive PUA benefits while not receiving any UC payment?

​I didn't file for PUA benefits right away. Can I get paid for those weeks?