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PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE (PUA):

In this article you will find relevant information about pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA).

PUA, The minimum amount for each person is $203 per week.

The maximum amount is $481 per week with no dependents and $591 with four dependents.

This provides up to 39 weeks of total benefits

The first week of payment is retroactive to February 2, 2020 or the first week the person was out of work due to COVID-19.

The last week of payment was the week ending December 26, 2020.

Must have an eligible state cash claim that has exhausted benefits, or some work history in the last 18 months. Which includes those who were scheduled to start a job and were unable to do so due to COVID-19, and those who applied and are currently ineligible due to some separation issue on their claim.

FRAUD WARNING!

If you intentionally make or cause another person to make a false statement or intentionally make or cause another person to fail to disclose a material fact and, as a result, you receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to which you were not entitled, you may be subject to criminal prosecution under Article 19 Section 1001 of Title 18, United States Code.

Leaving work without just cause to obtain additional benefits under the regular UI program qualifies as fraud under the PUA.

If for reasons unrelated to COVID-19 you quit your job without just cause, are discharged for misconduct, or refuse to work when work is available, you will be disqualified from receiving benefits under any of the state or federal programs that are currently available. Which means that, in order to receive state or federal unemployment benefits, you must not take any action that puts you out of work that is not related to COVID-19.

Any intentional misrepresentation in the reporting of earnings earned during a given week on the weekly continued unemployment insurance claim may result in a finding of fraud, which would also result in disqualification of benefits and an overpayment of benefits, as well as other penalties and possible criminal prosecution.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS

Child support obligations should be deducted from PUA payments in the same manner as they are for regular unemployment insurance benefits.

PUA payments are taxable. Which will be included in your 1099G that you will receive for the 2020 tax year. If you have elected to have taxes withheld from your unemployment insurance benefits, they will be withheld from PUA payments.

FOR EMPLOYERS

Employers will not be charged for benefits paid to employees receiving PUA.

After the pandemic is over, if you have offered work to employees and your employee refuses to return to work, you must notify Iowa Workforce Development through this link: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/job-offer-decline-form-employers

Employers should make sure they are up-to-date and file their quarterly unemployment insurance taxes in a timely manner so that their employees can receive benefits as soon as possible.

Also, they must respond to all Notification of Claim notices (65-5317), or SIDES Notice, if a claim is filed for someone who is not working due to a reason other than COVID-19.

They must respond to Claims Notifications (65-5317), or SIDES Notifications to report any paid sick leave or other leave benefits.

FOR EMPLOYEES/SELF-EMPLOYED PERSONS AFFECTED BY COVID-19

If you are not working as a result of COVID-19, you must file an unemployment insurance claim Web page in order for you to receive any form of unemployment insurance.

Your claim will be reviewed to determine if you have Iowa reported wages to qualify for a regular unemployment insurance claim. You will receive a letter in the mail on a green sheet of paper informing you if you are eligible for a regular unemployment claim. You may be able to receive it after you submit your proof of income.

If you are self-employed and are denied regular UI benefits, you will be asked to submit proof of earnings to Iowa Workforce Development to determine your PUA eligibility.

The weekly benefit amount and maximum PUA benefit amount are based on the income documentation you provide to IWD.

When your claim expires, you will be required to file a new claim, even if you have a remaining PUA balance.

INDIVIDUAL ELIGIBILITY

You must not be eligible for other specific forms of unemployment insurance, including Unemployment Insurance, Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees, Unemployment Compensation for Former Service Members, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Extended Benefits, Short-Term Compensation/Voluntary Job Sharing.

You must have exhausted the other forms of unemployment insurance listed above.

You must have been self-employed.

Be scheduled to begin working for an employer.

Be scheduled to begin self-employment.

You must not qualify for an unemployment insurance claim in another state or any territory of the United States.

Be wholly or partially unemployed under one of the COVID-19 qualifying reasons listed below.

 

(PUA) COVID-19 QUALIFYING REASONS:

To be eligible you must be unemployed, partially unemployed or disabled, unavailable for work due to one of the COVID-19 related reasons as listed below.

You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

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

You are providing care for a member of your household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

A child or other person in your household is unable to attend school, or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You cannot get to your workplace due to a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

You are unable to reach your workplace because a health care provider has advised you to place yourself under self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.

You were scheduled to start work and are unable to work or to get to work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You have become the breadwinner or major support for your household because the head of household died as a direct result of COVID-19.

You have to leave your job as a direct result of COVID-19.

The individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

 

HOW TO APPLY FOR PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE (PUA)

STEP 1: APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

If you have not already done so, file an application for unemployment insurance claim here: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/file-claim-unemployment-insurance-benefits

Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) will determine if you are eligible for a state unemployment claim.

STEP 2: SUBMIT PROOF OF INCOME

Submit your proof of income.

Complete the questions on the online form.

Upload your proof of income document. Your wage history needs to be established. You can do this by attaching any of the following documents:

2019 1099 Miscellaneous Income Only

2019 W-2

2019 Pay Stubs

2020 Pay Stubs

Form 1040 – U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Additional options are described at the bottom of the submission page.

After submitting the documents, you will receive an email notification that your submission was received

STEP 3: NEXT STEPS

IWD will review your proof of income and send you a determination letter. If additional information is needed, you will be contacted.

You should continue to submit your weekly claim application. When your proof of income has been reviewed and approved, you will be paid for all back weeks you have reported.

Phone: Dial 1-866-239-0843 and you will receive a message to select an option from the menu. Once you make your selection, you will hear a phone ring for a period of 3 to 5 minutes. Once the ring signal has stopped ringing, DO NOT HANG UP. Your call will automatically be held and will be answered in the order received.

Please note that some cell phone providers experience outages so you may receive an “all circuits are currently busy” message. This is related to your phone service provider and not the agency’s call center. Please try your call later or use a different phone service provider.

E-mail: uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov(link sends e-mail) which should contain the following information:

Your full name, including your middle initial.

The last 4 digits of your social security number.

Your date of birth.

Your complete mailing address.

If you have already sent an e-mail and are waiting for a response, please do not send duplicate requests.