Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

An Important EDD Update

The SBDC received a few recent updates from the Employment Development Department (EDD) about the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which will help provide unemployment benefits to namely business owners, independent contractors, self-employed and those that do not typically qualify for unemployment benefits.

Please be advised the EDD will begin accepting the online application for PUA Tuesday, April 28, 2020 and have targeted the application to go live at 5:30 a.m. (PST).

The EDD provided additional information for the PUA program:

  • The minimum weekly benefit is $167 for each week unemployed – subject to eligibility requirements. See below for benefit payment information.
  • To be considered for a higher weekly benefit amount up to $450, verifiable income documentation will be required.
  • The PUA program provides up to 39 weeks of benefits between February 2, 2020 to December 26, 2020.
  • If you have applied for UI benefits prior to April 28th you are encouraged to reapply.
  • Claimants will need to report their 2019 net income when filing – an estimate works fine.
  • There is no waiting period.
  • EDD will automatically certify all weeks ending between March 14, 2020 and May 9, 2020 to expedite payment processing. If wages were earned during this time, they must be reported to Ask EDD.
  • EDD payments will be made through an EDD Debit Card, allow at least five days for mail time once the first payment is authorized.

Eligibility and FAQs on PUA from EDD >>>

You can file a PUA claim here through the EDD online portal, just as you would for the standard unemployment insurance benefits.


Benefit Payments

Per EDD – to provide benefits as quickly as possible, payments will be issued in phases. If you qualify for PUA, and depending on the effective date of your PUA claim, the initial payments you will receive are as follows:

Phase 1

  • $167 per week for each week you were unemployed from February 2, 2020 to March 28, 2020 due to a COVID-19 related reason.

Phase 2

  • $167 plus $600 per week for each week you were unemployed from March 29, 2020 to July 25, 2020, due to a COVID-19 related reason.

Phase 3

$167 per week, for each week from July 26, 2020 to December 26, 2020, that you are unemployed due to a COVID-19 related reason, up to a total of 39 weeks (minus any weeks of regular UI and certain extended UI benefits that you have received). More