Labor and Economic Opportunity
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance was established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was passed by Congress and became law on March 27, 2020.
PUA provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are ineligible for unemployment benefits. Under PUA, individuals who are self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees, gig economy workers, clergy and those working for religious organizations not covered by regular unemployment compensation, and part-time workers may qualify for unemployment benefits. Individuals who have exhausted all rights to such benefits and individuals that lack sufficient work history are also eligible for PUA.
In Michigan, a claimant can receive PUA unemployment benefits beginning February 2, 2020, or the first week a claimant was unable to work as a result of COVID-19, whichever date is later. The last week PUA benefits are available is the week ending December 26, 2020.
Individuals are eligible for PUA if they do not qualify for regular UI benefits and cannot work because they:
Individuals are not eligible for PUA if they are being paid the full amount of regular wages for:
PUA applicants should have proof of their Social Security number and proof of income. Applicants will also be required to make certain self-attestations, including whether they were planning to start employment or were self-employed at the time they lost their job due to COVID-19.
Proof of income is used to determine the weekly benefit amount under PUA. Examples of acceptable proof of income include but is not limited to 1099’s, W-2s, tax returns, bank statements, last pay stub, work orders and invoices, or other documents that substantiate employment or self-employment or to substantiate work that was to begin. You should have this information available for 2019 and 2020.
The amount of benefits an individual may receive is based on the individual’s gross wages or self-employed income. The minimum PUA benefit rate is 50% of the average weekly benefit amount in Michigan. In Michigan, the weekly benefit amount will be from $160 to $362.
Individuals who qualify for PUA are also eligible for an additional $600 per week in Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC). This means individuals will receive the PUA weekly benefit amount plus the $600 PUC amount each week. The additional $600 PUC amount per week will end when an individual’s benefit entitlement expires or the week ending July 25, 2020, whichever date comes first. The last week PUA benefits are available is the week ending December 26, 2020.
Claimants must certify (report) every two weeks that they are eligible for benefits. After the first certification (which is done during the third week of unemployment) they will receive their payment in about 7-10 days after certification. You can certify online with MiWAM at michigan.gov/uia 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.