Click the above blue button for info on the new question added to weekly certifications as of approximately 06/14/2020.
Lost or never received PUA debit cards... Call 888-233-5916 to request replacement cards. Expect 3 hour hold times.
04/19/20 update... PUA: Self-employed filing for unemployment if you are not workingorworking less. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides up to 39 weeks of benefits to qualifying individuals who are otherwise able to work and available for work within the meaning of applicable state law, except that they are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to COVID-19 related reasons, as defined in the CARES Act.
Provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits.
May not be more than the state's maximum weekly benefit rate for regular UC of $572.
May not be less than half of the state's average weekly benefit amount of $195.
Payments will be backdated to January 27, 2020 or the first week you were unable to work due to COVID-19 (whichever of the two dates is later).
Benefits will end December 31, 2020.
All individuals collecting PUA will receive an additional $600 per week from Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). FPUC payments will begin the week ending April 4, 2020 through the week ending July 25, 2020.
Unexpected PUA Debit card?
Direct deposit is suspended due to fraud.
Instead, many will be mailed a debit card which will be loaded with funds every week.
If you received a UC-issued debit card, but discarded it or lost it, you must contact U.S. Bank Reliacard for a replacement at 888-233-5916.
Keep the card!!! It is good for 3 years and you never know if you will be unemployed again.
PUA assistance phone # 855-284-8545
PUA benefits... Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Do not file through the normal PUC system which says "file an initial claim". It must say PUA!
04/21/20 update... At this point PA is just holding data and not processing claims at all. They estimate they will be ready to process in 2-3 weeks. No worries since all claims will be retroactive and you will not miss out on any money.
Beware... the system will kick you out and make you start over if you let it sit idle for too long. I left the system idle for about 15 minutes and got kicked out.
These are some of the items needed to apply:
pdfs for proof of 2018 and 2019 income (see below in orange)
date you started working for the business
date your work was reduced or stopped
your annual salary if you are a corporation and get a W2
direct deposit information
File even if your business was not profitable before Covid-19.
File even if you were about to start a business... but could not due to Covid-19.
S corporation and C corporation owners... you need to know your gross annual salary.
You must apply online and check in weekly online.
My understanding is that PUA benefits are available only to business owners whose primary source of income is from their business.
If you own a jointly held business with your spouse... the spouse should also apply for PUA unemployment (separate claim) as long as the primary source of income for the spouse is working for the business. The rules are still soft on this, but I suggest that the spouse apply.
Have your 2018/2019 proof of income documents available and saved as pdf/jpg/png ready to upload. You can have a maximum of 5 documents. See below in orange. Email our office and we can help with this for $39... you get the required pdf's and required quarterly income amounts. Or follow the DIY instructions below.
Web site asks... - Your social security # (not your business EIN)... you as an individual are applying for unemployment as an employee of your business. It's not your business applying, it's YOU. - Have you been determined financially ineligible for regular unemployment since 01/05/20? Yes, if you are self-employed as your primary source of income. - Current employment status? not working or working part-time - If offered a job, are you willing to accept it? Yes - Are you self-employed or owner of a business? Yes - Type? sole proprietor/partnership, or 1099 contractor, or gig worker (or "Corporate officer" if you do S-corp with January appointment). LLC Partnership... use sole prop/partner. - Are you elected, appointed or in a major policy making position? Say no! - Are you unemployed as a direct result of a pandemic? Yes - Self certification... affected by Covid-19? Yes - Does your business have a name? Yes if you are LLC/S-corp. Otherwise better off saying no since this entry has had a glitch. If you get hung up here, just answer no to get past this. - if yes, What is the name? - if yes, What is the employer EIN/SSN? If you have an EIN, provide. If not, provide your social security number. - What is your net earnings for the each quarter of 2019?
You need your 2019 personal tax return
schedule C filers... use line 29 of schedule C (your profit) and divide by 4. A loss is not allowed. If you have a loss, input $1 for the quarter. If you have not filed yet, use any other profit and loss report to show quarterly profits after expenses for 2019.
LLC partners who receive K-1s... use line 14a less line 12 from your K-1 and divide by 4.
S-corp form 1120S filers... use your K-1's line 1 less line 11 and divide total by 4.
- Were you working full time or part time? Full-time unless you worked another W2 job - How did Covid-19 cause unemployment? Select one, but these fit best...
You stopped working because you're unable to reach your place of work after public official required quarantine (that started 03/22 non-essential businesses)
or if home office... You temporarily closed your business due to Covid-19
You are working reduced hours because of Covid-19
Reduction of gig work... (Uber, musician, freelancer)
Other from their list
- Date you last performed work? (use a Fri or Saturday)
My interpretation is "your last day to perform full-time work".
Most can use 03/21/2020 which is day before PA governors order to close non-essential businesses.
03/23/20 “Stay at Home” orders for Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Monroe, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.
03/27/20 "Stay at Home" orders for Berks, Butler, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Luzerne, Pike, Wayne, Westmoreland and York counties.
04/01/19 Stay at home order for entire state
- Did your employer offer you telework? No - What date do you expect to return to work? nobody knows. Say 12/31/2020 (last day benefits are available) - Do you want tax withheld? You might not expect this, but I suggest you say "no". - Proof of earnings document upload (maximum of 5 pdf/jpg/png files)... need to show 18 months of prior employment history. Email our office and we can help with this for $39... you get the required pdf's and required quarterly income amounts.
need to upload the documents used to obtain quarterly earnings (schedule C, K-1s, W2s, 2018 business tax return, 2019 business tax return)
if 2019 tax returns are not complete, upload any 2019 other documents available... 1099s, Quickbooks report.
- For S corporation owners who get W2: (others move on to Additional employment history)
select your own company as employer
Job title: manager
Occupation: Compliance Managers
Type of employment: Regular
put in your annual salary
Are you currently employed with this employer? Yes
Gross W2 earnings this week? $0 for most if we pulled you off payroll.
Reason for separation? Reduced Hours
Last day worked: use same answer as above for Date you last performed work (most will be 03/21/20)
Does employer plan to recall you within 6 weeks: No
Did you own stock: Yes
- Additional employment history?
If you are self-employed or S corp... say No and ignore the message that says you need to add work history. The web site hangs up and won't let you go forward if you say yes.
- What you must do to request weekly unemployment benefits...
"Beginning Sunday you must file weekly certifications that you are unemployed"... there system is not ready for this yet as of today 04/21/20. More info to come on this.
When you file the weekly certification be sure you are on the page for PUA benefits (not regular PUC benefits. Here is a link (right top blue par "file your PUA weekly certification"...
Your claim is retroactive back to the date you told them you had reduced hours or no hours.
04/15/20 update... you may need to supply proof that you were self-employed; they may ask you for info later. What documentation do I need to show I was employed or self-employed?Acceptable documentation of proof of employment or self-employment can include, but is not limited to:
copies of recent paycheck stubs;
bank receipts showing deposits;
billing notices provided to your customers;
recent advertisements for your business or services;
statements from recent customers;
current business licenses, ledgers, contracts, invoices; and/or