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Labor and Economic Opportunity


  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

General info

  • PUA is a temporary federal program that provides up to 50 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are not eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) such as:

    • Individuals who are self-employed.
    • Certain independent contractors.
    • Individuals with limited recent work history.
    • Other workers not covered by Regular UI.

    To be eligible for PUA, your reason for no longer working must fall within one of the COVID-19 Scenarios

    Payment Amount:  Minimum weekly benefit amount: $160; Maximum weekly benefit amount: $362.

Expanded PUA Eligibility

  • Update - March 15, 2021

    Expanded PUA Eligibility 

    In late February, the U.S. Dept. of Labor issued guidance expanding PUA eligibility to include three COVID-19 related reasons under which an individual may self-certify. The additional reasons address circumstances when an individual is directly affected by COVID-19 including:

    • Individuals who refuse to return to work that is unsafe or to accept an offer of new work that is unsafe (meaning it is not in compliance with local, state or national health and safety standards directly related to COVID-19)
    • Certain individuals who provide services to educational institutions or educational service agencies and are fully or partially unemployed as a direct result of COVID-19
    • Individuals experiencing a reduction of hours or a temporary or permanent layoff as a direct result of COVID-19

    The additional eligibility provisions apply retroactively to the beginning of the PUA program for those who filed before Dec. 27, 2020. For those who filed after Dec. 27, it is retroactive to Dec. 6, 2020.

    Claimants who were previously denied PUA benefits will be notified with details on the new provisions on how to reapply for PUA benefits.



Employment Verification

  • Individuals receiving PUA are required to submit proof of employment or self-employment. See below for more information on new PUA requirements. Check your email for a notice requesting you to complete the PUA Employment Verification Questionnaire and submit documentation.

    Check your MiWAM account alerts for a link to the questionnaire.

    Under Account Alerts, click Additional Fact Finding is required for your claim - Click Here to Respond.

    Acceptable documentation to prove your employment includes, but is not limited to:

    • Tax returns
    • Pay check stubs
    • Earning and leave statements showing the employer's name and address
    • W-2 forms
    • State or Federal employer identification numbers
    • Letters offering employment
    • Business receipts


New PUA Requirements

New PUA Requirements

  • Submit Proof of Employment

    • PUA claimants are required to submit proof of employment or self-employment. UIA will send a separate notice requesting the documentation.  The request will include additional information, the deadline date for submission, and examples of acceptable proof. Acceptable proof included, but is not limited to tax returns, paycheck stubs, earnings statements, W-2 forms, business licenses or business receipts.
    • Individuals filing a new PUA application on or after January 31, 2021 are required to provide documentation within 21 days from the date of the employment verification request that will be sent to you.
    • Individuals who applied before January 31, 2021 and who receive a payment of PUA on or after December 27, 2020 are required to provide proof of employment or self-employment or the planned start of employment or self-employment within 90 days from the date of the employment verification request that will be sent to you.
    • If you do not submit the proof or if the proof is not sufficient to establish that you were employed or self-employed, your PUA benefits will stop and you may have to repay PUA benefits that you already received.

    Verify Your Identity

    In addition to proof of employment, you will be required to verify your identity if you have not already been required to do so. Should it be needed, UIA will send a separate request for your identity verification.  The notice will provide additional information and instructions on how to submit your verification, the deadline for submission, and examples of acceptable proof.  You will have 10 days from the date of the notice to submit the requested documents to establish your identity.  If you do not respond or the documents you provide are not sufficient to verify your identity, your benefits will be stopped, and you may be required to repay benefits already received. 

How to Reopen a PUA Claim

    • New PUA claims can now be filed online at
    • PUA claimants who exhausted their original entitlement of benefits prior to 12/26/20 can now reopen their claim to receive an additional 11 weeks of benefits. The additional 11 weeks are payable beginning with the week ending Jan. 2, 2021.  
    • Claimants will receive notification by email and web notice or by mail alerting them to the availability of the additional weeks.

    To reopen your claim

    1. Log into your MiWAM. 

    • If under alerts “You have benefit weeks to certify” is displayed, there is no need to reopen your PUA claim. Please follow the steps to certify.

    2. Under Alerts, click on "Additional Information Required – Click Here to File a PUA.”

    • If no link is displayed under alerts, please go to Steps to Reopen Your Claim and follow the steps under Option 2 to reopen your claim.

    3. Fill out the PUA reopen application.

    4. Click submit and receive confirmation.

    NOTE: The certification date displayed on the confirmation page will reflect a future date. If needed, you will be able to certify for past weeks.

    Certifications may display immediately or may take time to generate.

    Reopening Your Claim for Benefits

    Please allow time for the system to update once you've taken an action like reopening or certifying.