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UI or PUA?

Updated: 6 days ago

Things to know:

  • If you qualify for regular UI benefits, you cannot qualify for PUA.

  • You cannot be on both UI and PUA

  • If EDD has wages reported from an employer over the last 18 months that would qualify you for a regular UI claim, then the EDD is required by law to proceed with a regular UI claim for you -- this is unfortunate for those who qualify barely with very little W2 income, but that is what they are required to do by law

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

  • UI Online has ONE application portal for both UI and PUA programs. 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.

I definitely qualify for PUA but I still have nothing, why?

  • If you are eligible for PUA and you applied before April 28, you need to apply again. PUA applications were not available until then.


What are the things that make me eligible?

  • Eligibility for PUA here

  • Eligibility for regular UI here


Other FAQ's

What if I'm out of work due to COVID-19, have a small amount of W2, large amount of self-employment. Can I not declare W2 wages and just rely on self-employment to get PUA?

  • No, if EDD has wages reported from an employer over the last 18 months that would qualify you for a regular UI claim, then the EDD is required by law to proceed with a regular UI claim for you.

What should I do if I believe I am an employee (and was misclassified as an independent contractor) but my claim for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits was denied because I have insufficient earnings?

  • If you believe you should be considered an employee but the EDD’s wage investigation concluded there weren’t sufficient earnings reported to substantiate a regular UI claim, then you will receive a form called a Notice of Status of Wages (this is different from a $0 benefit award notice). The Notice of Status of Wages indicates that you do not qualify for regular UI, and you may apply for PUA by filing a new claim through UI Online beginning April 28. If you believe the Notice of Status of Wages was in error, you have the right to appeal within 30 days. But if you appeal, then you should not apply for PUA.

I am already receiving regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. Can I choose to switch over to PUA benefits if I want to identify myself as an independent contractor or as self-employed?

  • No. If you are already receiving regular UI benefits, then you cannot qualify for PUA benefits.

If I already applied for UI but I meant to apply for PUA, what do I do?

  • If you do not have W2 wages for the past 18 months (you are self-employed or an independent contractor), you may apply for PUA on April 28 or after. If you applied before 4/28, you need to apply again to be considered for PUA.

  • If you DO have W2 wages, you qualify for UI and cannot change it to PUA.

  • You do not need to cancel your existing UI claim.

  • You do not need to call the EDD about the prior UI claim you filed where you may have received either a notice from EDD indicating a $0 award amount, or a notice of disqualification.

  • If you believe the $0 UI award amount or disqualification notice was in error and that you did receive wages as an employee that would qualify you for UI, you have the right to appeal within 30 days.

  • If you appeal the EDD notice about your UI claim, then do not apply for PUA.

If you receive a Notice of Unemployment Insurance Award showing $0 in benefits, and you know that you are self-employed or an independent contractor and have not appealed this decision on your UI claim, then you may apply for PUA by filing a new claim through UI Online beginning April 28.


ALSO

  • If you receive a specific notice called the Notice of Status of Wages indicating that you do not have sufficient earnings to qualify for regular UI, then you may apply for PUA by filing a new claim through UI Online beginning April 28. If you appeal the Notice of Status of Wages on your regular UI claim, then you should not apply for PUA.

  • Notice of Status of Wages is different than Notice of Unemployment Insurance Award (that contains weekly and maximum benefit amounts)


Information taken from EDD FAQ here.



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