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Check eligibility for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Find out if you may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a benefit program for people not eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI).

Table of Contents

Eligibility

PUA provides unemployment benefits to individuals who are unable to work because of a COVID-19-related reason but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits. To be eligible to apply for PUA, individuals must be able to work and be available for work in accordance with state law.

You may be eligible for PUA if you:

  • Are self-employed, including gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors
  • Are seeking part-time employment
  • Have an insufficient work history to qualify for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits
  • Have exhausted all rights to regular UI or extended benefits under state or federal law or to Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Have been laid off from churches and religious institutions and are not eligible for UI benefits under state law
  • Are otherwise not qualified for regular UI or extended benefits or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

You must provide “self-certification” that you are otherwise able and available to work, but are prevented from doing so by one of the following circumstances relating to COVID-19:

  • You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a diagnosis
  • A member of the your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • You are caring for a household or family member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • A child or other person for whom you have primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility as a result of COVID-19
  • You are unable to reach your place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • You are unable to reach your place of employment because you have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine
  • You were scheduled to start work and do not have a job or cannot reach the job as a result of COVID-19
  • You have become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19
  • You had to quit your job as a direct result of COVID-19
  • Your place of employment is closed because of COVID-19
  • You work as an independent contractor and the COVID-19 public health emergency has severely limited your ability to continue performing your usual work activities, and has thereby forced you to stop performing those activities

If you are able to telework with pay or if you are receiving paid sick or other leave you will not qualify for PUA. If you are receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits for less than your customary work week, however, you may still be eligible for PUA.

For more information about the differences between PUA and regular Unemployment Insurance (UI), review the overview of unemployment assistance benefit programs.

Additional Resources

Contact

Phone

Call Center (877) 626-6800

Open 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday. Multilingual call agents are available.

Online

To access PUA application online: Log in as a claimant 
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