PUA Benefits May Be Available to You. Here Exactly What You Should Know

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Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

March 18, 2020, marks the day when Trump signed into law the  Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which made it possible for both administrative funding and state unemployment insurance agencies to effectively respond to the adverse effects of the pandemic.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27.

It further expanded the states’ capability to offer financial aid especially for those who are not eligible for unemployment benefits under normal circumstances.

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To qualify for unemployment benefits, you need to first file a claim with the unemployment insurance program in the state you previously worked. Be ready with the information they will ask such as dates and addresses of employment. For better chances of getting your claims approved, make sure all information provided is correct and complete. 

One of the most frequently asked questions is whether one still qualifies for unemployment benefits when they quit their job because of the pandemic.

Each state has its own set of qualifications. Generally, you qualify if you are unemployed through no fault of your own. For the majority of states, this would mean that you lost your job due to a lack of available work. In short, voluntarily quitting your job to access unemployment benefits does not count. 

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You must also meet the work and wage requirements. Again, this varies per state but the general rule would be to meet a state’s requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time referred to as a “base period”.

Eligibility for PUA is not dependent on whether you’re actively seeking another job by the time you file your claim. It does require you to be unemployed, partially employed, or unable/unavailable to work due to circumstances brought on by the pandemic. If your employment closes down temporarily because of COVID, you qualify for financial assistance. However, as soon as the business is back on its feet and you are called back to work, you are no longer eligible.

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