• Erica Chan

PUA: General Information

Updated: Jul 2

PUA applies to those who do not qualify for regular UI benefits: including 1099, self-employed, independent contractors, sole proprietors, penalty weeks, PUA. It is a 39 week program. It is possible to qualify for an additional 7 weeks on FED-ED.


Facebook thread here.

Information form PUA FAQ here.


How is it going to work?

In order to provide benefits as quickly as possible, payments will be issued in phases. If you qualify for PUA the initial payments you will receive are as follows:

  • $167.00 per week, for each week from February 2, 2020 to March 28, 2020 that you were unemployed due to a COVID-19 related reason.

  • $167.00 plus $600 per week, for each week from March 29, 2020 to July 25, 2020, that you are unemployed due to a COVID-19 related reason.

  • $167.00 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).

If you qualify for your claim to be backdated to an earlier PUA effective date based on your last day of work, you could receive payment for prior weeks you were unemployed due to COVID-19. You will be required to provide the EDD eligibility information every two weeks. This is known as certifying for benefits.


After these initial payments, depending on your prior earnings, your weekly amount of $167.00 per week may be increased. See here for the update on phases for PUA.

  • Any increase from the $167 amount also applies retroactively. This means that you may also receive payment to make up the difference you should have been paid if your benefits had initially been based on the increased amount. You will be notified of any increase that you are entitled to receive.

If you are a 1099 independent contractor or sole proprietor and the owner but haven't paid yourself (via payroll), does that matter?

  • Yes, because regular UI is based on W2 wages. If you don't have W2 wages then you will want to be under PUA

When will my income be recalculated?

Based on a news release from EDD on 5/21. Summary here

  • 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.

What's the highest my PUA benefit amount can increase to?

  • The highest benefit amount is 450/week plus the 600 from the CARES Act. More info on CARES Act here.

I know I qualify for more, why does it still say $167 for my benefit amount?

  • Wait until your next certification and they should be paying you the difference. If they have not paid the difference by your next certification, call to confirm they have your 2019 tax information. Phone tips here. If they do adjust over the phone, expect 2-3 weeks for it to process before you see an adjustment. Continue to certify if you are able to.

When my benefit amount increases from $167, will I get retroactive pay for the previous weeks?

  • Yes, from the start of your claim. Keep in mind that the additional 600 only starts from the week ending 4/4/20 and will stop week ending 7/25/20. This means if your claim is retroactive to March, the 600 does not apply to those weeks.

Will I get the additional 600?

  • All valid claims will recieve the additional 600 from the CARES Act up until July 25, 2020 (unless the government extends it)

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