Additional Details for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

PUA provides up to 50 weeks of benefits to many who historically have not qualified for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed workers, 1099 tax filers, part-time workers, and those who lack sufficient work history. Individuals who have exhausted all regular unemployment and any federal and state extensions also may be eligible for this program.

PUA requires individuals to meet one of the following circumstances:

  • The individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or is experiencing symptoms and is seeking medical diagnosis;
  • A member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • The individual is providing care for a family member or member of the household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 emergency, and the school or care is required for the individual to work;
  • The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a COVID-19 quarantine;
  • The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because a health care professional has advised him or her to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
  • The individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual has quit his/her job as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual was laid off as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19

There is no minimum income requirement for PUA. However, new legislation requires claimants to submit documentation of prior employment or self-employment for weeks of benefits they claim. It also requires a heightened level of identity verification at the outset of new claims.

Before you begin the PUA application process, please be sure to collect the following documents and information.

  • Social Security number, date of birth and driver’s license or state ID number
  • Name, address, telephone number, and valid email address
  • Name, address, telephone number and dates of employment for 2019 or 2020
  • Reason for unemployment
  • Dependent information (Spouse or Children), including Social Security number and date of birth
  • Banking information for direct deposit
  • Documentation of employment, self-employment, or planned commencement of employment or self-employment for the tax year prior to when you filed your original claim for benefits. Acceptable documents can include paycheck stubs, state or federal employer identification numbers, business licenses, tax documents, business receipts or a signed affidavit.

New legislation requires most new claimants to provide the employment/self-employment documentation within 21 days of when they first applied for benefits. Existing claimants must provide this documentation either within 90 days of when they first applied or when they are requested to provide it by ODJFS, whichever is later. Important: you will receive a separate notice informing you of how to submit this documentation.

The benefit amount will be similar to traditional unemployment benefits if you have proof of prior wages. Otherwise, the PUA weekly benefit is $189. To calculate your estimated weekly payment, see page 19 of the Worker's Guide to Unemployment Insurance.

The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, signed on December 27, 2020, authorizes up to 50 weeks of PUA benefits. Individuals who are eligible for benefits for the week ending March 13, 2021, and have remaining entitlement, may receive PUA benefits through April 10, 2021. However, new PUA applications will not be accepted after March 13, 2021.