W2/PUA: 5/14 News Release - Extension & PUA update
Updated: Jun 14
Entire EDD news release here.
Relevant information below:
Important Note: Soundbites from EDD Director Sharon Hilliard about the new federal extension and PUA program can be downloaded here: https://vimeo.com/418641612/24b3e94d03
New federal extension planned for launch
The EDD has been working around the clock to implement a new 13-week federal extension of unemployment benefits called the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) established in the federal CARES Act. Due to the different dates, eligibility requirements, and interactions with other UI programs, including the new PUA program, the implementation of this extension has increased complexities. In order to make these PEUC benefits available as quickly as possible during this historic pandemic, the EDD will be rolling the extension out in two phases.
Phase 1 – Starting May 27th , the EDD will begin automatically filing PEUC extensions for those who exhausted all available benefits on their claim with a benefit year that started on or after June 2, 2019, and expects the first phase to be completed in early June. These individuals will receive a notice through the mail about 5-7 days after the PEUC extension is filed. This notice will include instructions on how to certify for extension benefit payments if you remain unemployed. Claimants are also encouraged to watch for updates in the Inbox of their UI Online account.
Phase 2 – Starting in early July, the EDD will begin mailing notices to those who ran out of their regular UI benefits sometime after July 2018 who are not part of the more recent group of those who exhausted benefits in Phase 1. More details will be released later. But the EDD recommends these individuals who remain out of work apply for another UI claim through UI Online if they haven’t already done so. The EDD will be required to first check whether or not they would qualify for a new regular claim before an extension could be filed.
Second phase of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance launches next week
The EDD has also been diligently working to implement the next phase of the new federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA) that 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.
Starting on May 20th - The EDD will have new programming available to potentially increase weekly benefit amounts that started at the minimum level of $167 per week when the program launched on April 28 and will begin recalculating awards for qualified individuals. Based on the total income reported by the claimant for calendar year 2019, payments could go up to a maximum of $450 per week. In general, claimants would have to earn more than $17,368 annually to qualify for an increase. More information about this process will be available on the EDD website next week.
Retroactive – Any increase in weekly benefit amounts calculated will be paid retroactively by the EDD to the start of an individual’s PUA claim. Those due higher benefit amounts will receive details in a notice sent through the mail and the EDD will automatically issue adjustment payments for prior PUA payments made at the lower amount.
Also starting May 20th – The EDD is recalculating PUA benefits for those who may have had PUA benefits withheld to repay overpaid benefits due on a prior regular unemployment insurance claim. It’s been determined that federal guidelines do not call for offsetting PUA benefits for this obligation, and so any amount deducted due to a benefit overpayment will automatically be repaid to those eligible claimants.
New guidance offered for workers and employers as businesses start to reopen As businesses start to reopen in California under the state government guidelines, the EDD has developed a new series of FAQs on our COVID-19 webpages to assist workers and employers in understanding impacts on the eligibility for UI benefits.
Please visit the Unemployment Benefits Guide for instructions on how to apply for Unemployment Insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
For additional information on financial resources please visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/get-financial-help