• Erica Chan

5/21 EDD News Update

Updated: Jun 14

Full news release here. Below are updates on PUA and extensions.


Some members have reported that they have received an increase on their weekly benefit amount.


Summary of important bits in the letter:


Increased Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits

As of May 20, the EDD is now able to increase the weekly benefit amounts paid to eligible workers applying for the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program or already collecting PUA benefits. This separate federal program applies to the self-employed, business owners, independent contractors and others who are not eligible for regular state-provided UI benefits and are unemployed as a direct result of COVID-19.


Automatic recalculations for current PUA claimants - The EDD is now recalculating benefit awards for qualified individuals based on the total income reported by the claimant for calendar year 2019. Those due higher weekly benefit amounts who applied through UI Online will receive a notice in the mail 5-7 days after the benefit adjustment is made and will automatically be paid retroactively to make up the difference from the start of the individual’s PUA claim. Those adjusted payments for current claimants are likely to be completed within about a week and issued through their existing payment method. It could take a few more days for those who filed via phone or paper.


Maximum is $450 per week – In order to get some kind of increase above the minimum weekly benefit amount, individuals would have to have earned more than $17,368 last year. To qualify for the maximum of $450 per week in PUA benefits, individuals’ net self-employment income for 2019 would need to be more than $46,696, which equates to at least $11,674 per quarter.


New 13-week federal extension launches next week

Starting May 27th, the new extension called the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) will be available to Californians impacted by the pandemic. One of the provisions of the CARES act is a new 13-week extension of federal funds for anyone who exhausts up to 26 weeks of regular state-provided UI benefits.


See BLUE for relevant situation you are in


Phase 1

  • Exhausted benefits with benefit year starting ON or AFTER June 2, 2019 will automatically have their federal extension filed for them. You'll receive a notice through the mail 5-7 days after PEUC extension is filed. Make sure to watch your online account within the week of May 27 for an update. That will allow you to move quickly to certifying to the EDD that they remain unemployed and otherwise eligible to receive extension benefits.

  • If you still have a claim open, but exhausted benefits prior to the week beginning March 29 -- the gap does not meet eligibility for extension benefits, BUT it will be filled by retroactive PUA payments*

  • Extension benefits are available for weeks beginning ON or AFTER March 29 through the end of 2020 (meaning if it expires between March 29, 2020 to the end of the year -- you will qualify for a 13 week extension)

  • Extensions will be paid through the already existing payment method

  • If you lost your card, see this article here

*EXAMPLE: Claim is still open, but exhausted 3/1/20

  • Between 3/1/20 - 3/29/20 this is the "gap" and covered by PUA ($167 ONLY -- $600 does not cover weeks until 3/29)

  • AFTER 3/29/20 - you will qualify for the additional 13 weeks of benefits

  • They don't mention it here, but under PUA verbiage -- PUA program only backdates all the way up to February 2, 2020


Phase 2

  • For those who exhausted benefits sometime after July 2019 or are not part of phase 1 -- there will be updates in July 2020. (NOTE: In the newsletter it says 2018, but I kind of feel like it's a typo and meant to say 2019???)

  • These claimants will have to apply for PEUC extension since your benefit year has expired. "More details will be released later" -- aka, more waiting :(

  • BUT you should not delay in applying for a regular UI claim if you haven't already done so if you are unemployed.


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