Resources to Help During COVID-19 Crisis: PUA Program

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program was created as part of the CARES Act to provide unemployment benefits to Americans who might not have qualified for traditional unemployment – including self-employed workers, contracted workers and “gig” workers. Click here to apply.

Cincinnati Works financial coaches are available to help our Members apply. In addition to the information listed below, the IRS has set up a call center at 833.604.0774.

The PUA was created for certain workers who are not eligible for traditional unemployment through their state, which primarily means self-employed workers or those who file IRS Form 1099. The basic details include:

  • Unemployment benefits under this program are available for 39 weeks, compared to 26 weeks for traditional unemployment
  • The program is effective from January 27, 2020, through December 31, 2020
  • PUA funds can be claimed in addition to the $600 weekly bonus that was also included in the CARES Act; the additional $600 is available only from March through the end of July
  • PUA funds do not impact eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP programs

As with traditional unemployment, a worker must be able to work, available to work and actively seeking work in order to qualify for PUA. There are some exceptions to that rule, including:

  • If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or you are providing care for a family member with COVID-19
  • If you cannot work because you have a child that cannot attend school or daycare due to COVID-19
  • If you are unable to get to work due to the stay-at-home order
  • If you were going to start working at the job but were not allowed to start due to the quarantine
  • If you quit, were laid off or the business closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak

In order to apply for PUA, you will need:

  • Driver’s license or State ID number, date of birth, Social Security number
  • Name, address, phone number and email address
  • Name, address, phone number and dates of employment for 2019
  • Reason for being unemployed
  • Banking information
  • Information on your dependents

If you pre-registered for PUA prior to May 5, the IRS will email you a link to complete the application. If you did not pre-register, then click here to begin the registration process.