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ID verification, Fraud, PUA, PEUC clarifications

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

When will I see changes to my account?

There has been no announcements or any information from EDD that things have been implemented. They are working on implementing the programs. The new stimulus (Continued Assistance Act) got signed so last minute and they have to compensate for that change. No one is seeing anything on their accounts.

Maximum benefits paid, what do I do?

This depends on what program you are on and if you are eligible to apply for a new claim.

Regular UI? If your claim year expired then you may be eligible for a new claim and should apply (for example, if you applied in December 2019, your claim year ends December 2020 and is expired). This is NOT THE CASE for most people since many applied March 2020, which means your claim will expire March 2021. Do not apply for a new claim - you will put yourself in an ID verification black hole. Claim year typically expires 1 year after you had applied.

PEUC? You need to wait for implementation. For PEUC claimants, I would recommend waiting unless you know you can qualify for more with a new claim AND your claim year is expired.

FED-ED? Wait for implementation to go back on PEUC after you finish FED-ED, unless you can qualify for a regular UI claim (made enough wages in 2020 and claim year expired).

PUA? You need to wait for implementation, unless you can qualify for a regular UI claim (made enough wages in 2020).

The only instance you should apply for a new claim is two things

  1. if you made enough wage to establish a new claim

  2. if your claim year has expired.

If you want to figure out whether or not you made enough wages in 2020 to establish a new claim, you can use the tools on our website or use EDD's calculator

Will I miss out on benefits???

On their website they say there will be no gap in benefits, so it is unlikely you will miss out.

Apply for a new claim?

The top FAQ of the week: Should I apply for a new claim?

The answer for the majority of people who are REGULAR UI: ABSOLUTELY NOT. Do you want to go into ID verification/fraud black hole? That's what will happen if you have two claims open and you are not supposed to. At least that's what many people did in the past and got them stuck in the endless cycle of no benefits.

IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND: When was your claim year? If your claim year started in March 2020, that means you CANNOT apply for another claim until March 2021. This is for regular UI. If you apply while you have an active claim, you basically will have two claims overlapping each other and that is not something that is allowed.

THE ONLY SITUATION where you would want to apply for a new claim is if your claim year is expired and you qualify for a new claim. This means 1) you made enough wages last year to establish a new claim and 2) your claim year is expired. These two conditions are also true for PEUC, FED-ED, and PUA.

To figure out whether or not you made enough wages in 2020, you can use the tools on our website or use EDD's calculator

I still have a remaining balance, that doesn't make sense? Why can't I certify?

PEUC and PUA have extended -- EDD has not implemented it yet, so you will not be able to collect as of now. That does not mean that will go away... you just need to wait.

But be warned that if you have a remaining balance by the time PEUC or PUA ends in April 2021... if you don't collect, you don't collect. It's either you collect all the weeks before April 2021 or it ends in April 2021, despite any remaining balance you have.

Was collecting PEUC/PUA but abruptly stopped at the end of December, what do I do?

If you are in the middle of receiving PEUC and PUA, you just need to wait for implementation.

Screen shot straight from EDD website for those on PUA and PEUC:

Should I apply to PUA?

No. There is not a different application for PUA. The regular UI application is the same as the PUA application so you are again making a double claim (see above explanation) and risking the possibility of putting you in ID verification black hole. So, you need to just wait for EDD to implement things.

If EDD needs to put you on PUA, they will do that automatically. It is not a process where you apply unless you are purely self-employed, 1099, independent contractor, etc.

I know I'm eligible for a new claim and my claim year expired, what should i do?

It is up to you if you want to wait for implementation from EDD. Majority of places say that if you qualify for a new claim you should apply for one. There was only one section that did mention states potentially allowing claimants to continue being on PEUC despite qualifying for a new claim. See more here.

Otherwise, more than likely you have to apply for a new claim if you can establish one.

To figure out whether or not you made enough wages in 2020, you can use the tools on our website or use EDD's calculator.

How do I know I qualify for a new claim

You meet these two requirements:

1) Claim year expired

  • For regular UI claimants, thats 1 year from when you first applied

  • PUA - they do say that if you qualify for a regular UI claim, you should apply. If you still are self-employed, 1099, etc you would continue on PUA

2) You made enough wages to establish a new claim

  • To figure out whether or not you made enough wages in 2020, you can use the tools on our website or use EDD's calculator

Claim year expired, but not enough wages to establish a claim, what do I do?

  • EDD will either put you on PEUC on the last eligible claim or put you on PUA which is a minimum of $167/week

ID Verification & Fraud

Many people are facing identity verification as EDD continues to revamp their system to be able to battle fraud.

Lately people have been getting a notice that says the following:

You have been receiving unemployment benefits, but we have temporarily suspending your claim because it may be tied to fraudulent activity.
You will receive further instructions from EDD on how to verify your identity beginning January 6, 2021.
You should continue to certify for each week that you wish to claim benefits while the identity verification issue is being resolved to prevent delays in processing your claim.

It is alarming to receive this kind of notification, but you should also know that EDD is installing a new ID verification system.

Some people got this notice and when they checked back it changed from January 6 to January 8. If you read this carefully it says "beginning" on January 6... which means they are STARTING to send out further instructions. Not everyone will get a notification on that exact day.

I know it's a bit of a scare to look at this and wonder how long your benefits will be reinstated, but things take time, especially since the new stimulus package also was signed so last minute... not only are they dealing with launching this new ID thing, but they also have to reinstate all those programs to last longer.

It's also important to note that some people have already verified their information through -- it is possible you will be asked to do it again.

It is annoying to have EDD halt everything and prevent you from receiving your benefits, but it's also better to wait a week for them to do this to help protect you from people stealing your benefits from you.

Specific to your situation

Many people are asking about their specific situation, based on the bill, the US Department of Labor guidance, these are some of the things that were derived. Please note that THINGS ALWAYS CHANGE. So take information with a grain of salt until they're actually implemented by the EDD.


PUA to PEUC: I was originally on Regular UI. I was put on PUA because I did not qualify for FED-ED. Now there is an 11 week extension, what happens now?

  • When the 11 week extension for PEUC becomes available you will be switched back onto PEUC from PUA

  • States are allowed to keep you on PUA until they have the ability to put you back on PEUC. Because the Continued Assistance Act (CAA) just BARELY got signed and begun implementation. They are allowed to keep you on PUA in order to give states time to change their system and implement the 11 week extension of PEUC for you.

  • This does not mean they can put you on whatever program they desire. All this means is that they allowed to temporarily put you PUA until they can implement the 11 week PEUC extension.

PUA to FED-ED: I was on PUA, but actually I qualify for FED-ED (13 weeks) and can be on that - what happens to me?

  • If you qualify for FED-ED, you need to stop collecting PUA and be put on FED-ED when EDD can implement that.

  • If you had a notice that says you disqualify for FED-ED then you are in the correct program of PUA

PEUC or new claim?? I know I qualify for a new claim since my claim year expired, should I go on PEUC or file a new claim?

  • The Continued Assistance Act "gives states the option to allow individuals" to continue being on PEUC despite being qualified for a new claim, but only for claims with a benefit year expiration date of January 2, 2021.

  • If your potential "new claim" would award you a weekly benefit amount that is at least $25 lower than the PEUC weekly benefit amount. For example, if you apply for a new claim, your weekly benefit amount is $200, but your old PEUC claim had you at $250 -- because that's a $50 difference (more than $25), they can put you back on PEUC.

  • KEYWORDS: "give states the option to allow individuals", which means US Department of Labor guidance says EDD could do this, but whether or not if they will depends on what California as a state wants to do. Also NOTE - this is for any claims that have an expiration of January 2, 2021 or later.

FED-ED to PEUC? I've started FED-ED, but with this new PEUC extension do I go back to PEUC?

  • If you previously exhausted PEUC and started on FED-ED, you must finish your FED-ED before being eligible for the additional 11 weeks of PEUC that is under the Continued Assistance Act

FED-ED but qualify for a new claim? I can qualify for a new claim since my benefit year has expired, but can I be on PEUC or FED-ED or am I supposed to make a new claim?

Currently, the verbiage was a little confusing, but this is what the new guidance says verbatim:

  • 1) If permitted under state law, as long as the state is in an Extended Benefits period after the date the individual exhaust PEUC, even if the individual's benefit year has expired, the individual may still be eligible for Extended Benefits"

  • 2) "If at any time while the individual is collecting Extended Benefits, the individual becomes eligible for regular Unemployment Compensation, the individual must stop collecting Extended Benefits and file a new regular Unemployment Compensation Claim"

  • To be interpreted... keep checking back for updates

PUA, but eligible for a new claim - what do I do?

  • If any any point you become eligible for a new claim, you should stop collecting PUA and file for a new regular UI claim

EDD link to federal provisions here


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