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PUA: Am I Eligible?

Updated: Feb 10

What should I do if I don’t know if I am eligible for UI or PUA?

  • UI Online is the EDD’s application portal for both regular UI and PUA claims. Based on your responses as well as wage information reported to the EDD, the EDD will determine if your claim is processed as a regular UI claim or a PUA claim.

  • Guide to applying HERE.

  • Portal to register HERE.

Am I eligible for PUA?

You may qualify for PUA benefits if you are unemployed, partially unemployed, unable to work or unavailable to work as a direct result of a COVID-19 related reason and you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are a business owner, self-employed, independent contractor or gig worker (and are not participating in the UI Elective Coverage program). You will be able to indicate if you have no employment wages (for example, you did not receive a W-2), solely for the purpose of applying for the PUA program (and not to be used for any other purpose). However, you may proceed with a regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim if you believe you were misclassified and have wages from an employer.

  • You don’t have sufficient work history. This generally means you don’t have enough wages reported as an employee during the last 18 months to establish a regular UI claim. This could be the case if you are self-employed or an independent contractor. But this could also be the case if you are an employee with insufficient earnings. To qualify for PUA based on insufficient work history, you must have been recently employed, which could be satisfied if you had a bona fide offer to start working on a specific date but were unable to start as a direct result of a COVID-19 related reason.

  • You have collected all unemployment benefits for which you were eligible and remain unemployed or partially unemployed as a direct result of a COVID-19 reason. This means that you were qualified for regular UI but have exhausted those benefits, as well as any extended benefits.

What are COVID-19 related reasons for being out of work under PUA?

  • You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a medical diagnosis.

  • You are unable to work because a health care provider advised you to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.

  • A member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19.