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Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
April 13, 2020
This includes individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, 1099 independent contractors, employees of churches, employees of non-profits, or those with limited work history who do not qualify for state unemployment benefits.
 
Step 1: Individual files a
regular state unemployment claim. A claimant will receive 2 emails - one stating that the claim was received and another stating the claim was processed.
Step 2: Individual receives a Benefits Determination letter, which shows if a claimant has enough wages to determine a valid regular state unemployment claim. If so, an individual receives a second determination letter (Claims Examiner’s Determination) informing the claimant if state benefits are approved or denied. 
 
Step 3: Starting April 22, 2020, individuals not eligible to receive state unemployment benefits will receive notification by email with a link to the application or mail containing information regarding the PUA application process.
 
Step 4: Individual will complete the PUA application and submit for processing. After this, the claimant will await determination of benefits based on verified wages. Once wages are verified, a weekly determination will be decided and the claimant will receive a PUA Benefits Determination letter in the mail stating the weekly benefit amount. An individual will also receive a PUA Claims Examiner’s Determination letter informing the claimant if benefits are approved or denied.
 
The PUA program will provide unemployment benefits to those not ordinarily eligible for them. This includes individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, 1099 independent contractors, employees of churches, employees of non-profits, or those with limited work history who do not qualify for state unemployment benefits. The GDOL modified its current online unemployment application adding new questions to better identify those individuals who may be eligible for PUA. These individuals must be determined not eligible for state benefits before being evaluated for federal PUA benefits. Once an applicant is deemed ineligible for state benefits, they will receive notification by email with a link to the application or mail containing information regarding the PUA application process. The new federal PUA program is still under development and must be built from scratch. Once complete, the program will allow verification of wages. Once the PUA application is received, the claimant will await determination of weekly federal benefits based on verified wages.  After wages are verified, a weekly determination will be decided and the claimant will receive a PUA Benefits Determinations letter in the mail stating the weekly federal benefit amount. If a claimant receives at least one dollar in federal PUA benefits, they will be eligible for the weekly $600 supplement that will be back paid from the implemented date of 4/4/2020. An individual will also receive a PUA Claims Examiner’s Determination letter informing the claimant if benefits are approved or denied.
 
The additional questions in the state unemployment application will help determine if applicants are qualified to receive federal PUA benefits. The GDOL is partnering with the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR), and, if given authorization by the applicant, will use information from the DOR to speed up the wage verification process.
 
If GDOL is unable to verify your wages with DOR, applicants may be asked to provide additional documentation to prove wages. The past wages used to establish your PUA claim may use income not normally covered by regular state unemployment, such as contract labor or self-employment earnings. Do not send this information unless it is specifically requested by the GDOL.
 
Acceptable Proof of Wages/Income Used for PUA Claims 

  • Proof of wages/income for the most recently completed tax year 2019:
    • If you are an employee or 1099 independent contractor, you can send copies of pay stubs, earning statements, IRS Form W-2 or IRS Form 1099 and federal income tax Form 1040 and Schedule C, F, or SE.
    • If you are self-employed, you can send IRS Form 1040 and a copy of Schedule 1, 2, C, F or SE tax return.
Individuals who have already filed a claim with the GDOL and have been determined not eligible for state unemployment benefits, but may be potentially eligible to receive benefits under this program, do NOT have to refile a claim. These individuals will be identified once development of this program is completed and will receive notification by email with a link to the application or mail containing information regarding the PUA application process

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