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Coronavirus and Unemployment Insurance Benefits: Expanded Eligibility Resource Hub

The new federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (or "PUA") program provides benefits for many individuals ineligible for state unemployment benefits, including self-employed workers, 1099 tax filers and part-time workers.

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We have set up a dedicated PUA Call Center to answer your questions about this new expanded eligibility program. Please call 833-604-0774.
Unemployment compensation benefits for eligible individuals under this program are available for no more than 39 weeks.
PUA registration is now open. Already signed up? You’ll receive an email to complete your application. Need to apply? Click on "Get Started Now."

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Most Popular Questions

Who is eligible to receive benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program offered through the federal CARES Act?

To be eligible for PUA, the individual must NOT be eligible for regular unemployment benefits. Additionally, individuals must meet one of the following circumstances:

  • The individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or is experiencing symptoms and is seeking medical diagnosis;
  • A member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • The individual is providing care for a family member or member of the household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 emergency, and the school or care is required for the individual to work;
  • The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a COVID-19 quarantine;
  • The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because a healthcare professional has advised him or her to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
  • The individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual has quit his/her job as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual was laid off as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19

There is no minimum income requirement for PUA.

How do I apply for the PUA program?

To apply for the PUA program, visit pua.unemployment.ohio.gov and click the button that says "Click Here to Apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance."

Can I apply for the PUA program if I also have a pending application for regular unemployment benefits?

Yes. If you think you might be eligible for the PUA program, but you have an appeal for regular unemployment in process or you’re still waiting on your determination for regular unemployment, you can still apply for the PUA program. This will not negatively impact your existing application for regular unemployment benefits. You do not need to be denied regular unemployment benefits to apply for PUA.

To apply for the PUA program, click here.

How much money can I expect to receive through the PUA program?
The benefit amount will be similar to traditional unemployment benefits plus an additional $600 per week. The $600 per week benefit is known as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (or "FPUC") and is offered through the federal CARES Act. To calculate your estimated weekly payment (not including the additional $600), see page 19 of the Worker's Guide to Unemployment Insurance. Benefits will be retroactive to the date you became eligible, as far back as February 2, 2020. Note that the additional $600 per week is available from March 29, 2020 through July 25, 2020.
Will the additional $600 per week (FPUC) be issued as part of my regular benefits, or separately?

The additional $600 per week will be paid via a separate weekly payment and will appear on your pay stubs with the designation "FAC". It will be paid until July 25, 2020 as long as you are still eligible for unemployment benefits. The first payment will include any retroactive payments for which you may be eligible, dating as far back as March 29, 2020.

Do I need to apply for the additional $600 per week (FPUC) offered through the CARES Act?
No. There is nothing additional that is needed from you to receive FPUC. It is paid automatically until July 25, 2020. The first payment will include any retroactive payments for which you may be eligible, dating as far back as March 29, 2020.
What documents are required for me to apply for PUA benefits?

Before you begin the PUA application process, please be sure to collect the following documents and information.

  • Social security number, date of birth and driver’s license or state ID number
  • Name, address, telephone number, and valid email address
  • Name, address, telephone number and dates of employment for 2019
  • Reason for unemployment
  • Dependent information (Spouse or Children), including social security number and date of birth
  • Banking information for direct deposit
  • 2019 tax return, if available

Self-employed individuals must submit acceptable proof of employment. This includes, but is not limited to, W-2 forms, recent pay stubs or vouchers, earnings statements (reflecting profit and loss), recent bank records showing payroll direct deposit, or a 2019 tax return, if available.

Why was my PUA application denied?

It could be any of several reasons.

It's possible that you weren't denied for PUA but are being directed back to the regular unemployment program to determine your eligibility for other benefits, based on your answers to the opening questions. If you are eligible for regular unemployment benefits, you must apply for them first, including any extended benefit programs.

It's also possible that you were not eligible in the previous quarter, but in the current quarter, you now qualify for regular unemployment benefits.

In addition, the new system is not allowing some individuals to apply for PUA if they are monetarily eligible for regular unemployment benefits but were denied for other reasons and meet PUA eligibility criteria. The system also has incorrectly denied some individuals who were serving penalty weeks in the regular unemployment program. We are aware of this issue, and are working to resolve it. If you believe you were denied for any of these reasons, please call the PUA Call Center at (833) 604-0774.

I applied for PUA, and it’s saying that my weekly benefits will be only $189. Why is the amount so low?

This is the minimum PUA benefit amount. If you have been asked to submit additional documentation, this amount may appear until your claim can be processed.

You don't have to upload your 2019 tax returns immediately as proof of your income, but you will have to within 21 days. Otherwise, the system will default to the minimum benefit amount, and you will receive an email with a link telling you to return and upload a document.

In addition, from April 4 through July 25, everyone who receives PUA also will receive the weekly $600 supplemental payments made possible by the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.

Why can’t I log into the PUA system?
It's possible you're using your log-in credentials for the regular unemployment website. Your log-in credentials for the PUA website will be different. To apply for PUA, visit pua.unemployment.ohio.gov and click the button that says "Click Here to Apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance."

Expanded Eligibility

Who is eligible to receive benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program offered through the federal CARES Act?

To be eligible for PUA, the individual must NOT be eligible for regular unemployment benefits. Additionally, individuals must meet one of the following circumstances:

  • The individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or is experiencing symptoms and is seeking medical diagnosis;
  • A member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • The individual is providing care for a family member or member of the household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 emergency, and the school or care is required for the individual to work;
  • The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a COVID-19 quarantine;
  • The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because a healthcare professional has advised him or her to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
  • The individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual has quit his/her job as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual was laid off as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19

There is no minimum income requirement for PUA.

How does the PUA program impact Ohio real estate agents?
If you work as an independent contractor with reportable income, you may qualify for PUA benefits if you are unemployed, partially employed, or unable or unavailable to work because the COVID-19 public health emergency has severely limited your ability to continue performing your customary work activities, and has forced you to stop working.

PUA Application Process

How do I apply for the PUA program?

To apply for the PUA program, visit pua.unemployment.ohio.gov and click the button that says "Click Here to Apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance."

What documents are required for me to apply for PUA benefits?

Before you begin the PUA application process, please be sure to collect the following documents and information.

  • Social security number, date of birth and driver’s license or state ID number
  • Name, address, telephone number, and valid email address
  • Name, address, telephone number and dates of employment for 2019
  • Reason for unemployment
  • Dependent information (Spouse or Children), including social security number and date of birth
  • Banking information for direct deposit
  • 2019 tax return, if available

Self-employed individuals must submit acceptable proof of employment. This includes, but is not limited to, W-2 forms, recent pay stubs or vouchers, earnings statements (reflecting profit and loss), recent bank records showing payroll direct deposit, or a 2019 tax return, if available.

I’m self-employed, but I don’t see an option to post a 1099 form. What should I do?
After submitting your application, log in to your account and go to the "View and Maintain Account Information" tab on the left side of the screen. You will be able to upload your 1099 there.
Can I apply for the PUA program if I also have a pending application for regular unemployment benefits?

Yes. If you think you might be eligible for the PUA program, but you have an appeal for regular unemployment in process or you’re still waiting on your determination for regular unemployment, you can still apply for the PUA program. This will not negatively impact your existing application for regular unemployment benefits. You do not need to be denied regular unemployment benefits to apply for PUA.

To apply for the PUA program, click here.

Do you have to be denied regular unemployment benefits to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance?
No, you do not need to have first been denied for regular unemployment in order to apply for PUA.
Should I continue to appeal a denial of regular unemployment benefits if I think I might be eligible for the PUA program?

The only reason to appeal a denial of regular unemployment benefits is if you believe the decision was made in error.

Do I need to agree to the Identity Verification process via Experian?
We have partnered with Experian in order to verify your identity and speed up the time for you to receive your payments. This is NOT a credit inquiry. If you select "I Disagree," you may continue submitting your claim, but it will cause a delay of several weeks for both your eligibility determination and any benefits you may be owed. In addition, you will be required to submit documents to prove your identity.
Why was my PUA application denied?

It could be any of several reasons.

It's possible that you weren't denied for PUA but are being directed back to the regular unemployment program to determine your eligibility for other benefits, based on your answers to the opening questions. If you are eligible for regular unemployment benefits, you must apply for them first, including any extended benefit programs.

It's also possible that you were not eligible in the previous quarter, but in the current quarter, you now qualify for regular unemployment benefits.

In addition, the new system is not allowing some individuals to apply for PUA if they are monetarily eligible for regular unemployment benefits but were denied for other reasons and meet PUA eligibility criteria. The system also has incorrectly denied some individuals who were serving penalty weeks in the regular unemployment program. We are aware of this issue, and are working to resolve it. If you believe you were denied for any of these reasons, please call the PUA Call Center at (833) 604-0774.

I applied for PUA, and it’s saying that my weekly benefits will be only $189. Why is the amount so low?

This is the minimum PUA benefit amount. If you have been asked to submit additional documentation, this amount may appear until your claim can be processed.

You don't have to upload your 2019 tax returns immediately as proof of your income, but you will have to within 21 days. Otherwise, the system will default to the minimum benefit amount, and you will receive an email with a link telling you to return and upload a document.

In addition, from April 4 through July 25, everyone who receives PUA also will receive the weekly $600 supplemental payments made possible by the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.

Why can’t I log into the PUA system?
It's possible you're using your log-in credentials for the regular unemployment website. Your log-in credentials for the PUA website will be different. To apply for PUA, visit pua.unemployment.ohio.gov and click the button that says "Click Here to Apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance."
Why won’t the PUA system allow me to move forward?
One possibility is that when you entered your phone number, you also may have checked the box saying that you don’t have a phone number. When that happens, the system won’t let you proceed.
I entered my bank information incorrectly. How can I fix this?
After submitting your application, log in to your account and go to the "View and Maintain Account Information" tab on the left side of the screen. You will be able to update your banking information there.
Why did I have to select debit card as my payment option when an agent was helping me fill out an application?
To ensure the security of your data. If you wish, after your application has been submitted, you can log in to your account, select the "View and Maintain Account Information" tab on the left side of the screen, and change your payment preference there.
What if I don't have email?
The PUA system uses email communication to provide timely requests for more information and other updates. A future enhancement will allow for paper communication. In the meantime, we encourage you to consider setting up a free email account for this purpose.
What if I worked intermittently and don't remember the number of weeks I worked in each quarter?
If you can't provide the number of weeks you worked in each quarter, your weekly benefit payment will default to the minimum amount of $189 per week. Note that from April 4 through July 25, everyone who receives PUA also will receive the weekly $600 supplemental payments made possible by the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.
If I am a student and I was laid off as a result of COVID-19, could I be eligible for PUA?
Yes, it's possible. To apply, visit pua.unemployment.ohio.gov and click the button that says "Click Here to Apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance."
Why won't the system let me reset my password?
If you're not able to reset your password online, please call the PUA Call Center at (833) 604-0774.
I’m self-employed, but I don’t see an option to post a 1040 form. What should I do?
After submitting your application, log in to your account and go to the "View and Maintain Account Information" tab on the left side of the screen. Then click on "Upload 1040 Tax Document."

What to Expect After Applying

How long will it take for my application to be approved?
Most claims are processed in approximately 21 days.
How soon will I receive a payment?
Weekly claims are paid approximately five to seven days after they are approved.
How much money can I expect to receive through the PUA program?
The benefit amount will be similar to traditional unemployment benefits plus an additional $600 per week. The $600 per week benefit is known as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (or "FPUC") and is offered through the federal CARES Act. To calculate your estimated weekly payment (not including the additional $600), see page 19 of the Worker's Guide to Unemployment Insurance. Benefits will be retroactive to the date you became eligible, as far back as February 2, 2020. Note that the additional $600 per week is available from March 29, 2020 through July 25, 2020.
Do I need to apply for the additional $600 per week (FPUC) offered through the CARES Act?
No. There is nothing additional that is needed from you to receive FPUC. It is paid automatically until July 25, 2020. The first payment will include any retroactive payments for which you may be eligible, dating as far back as March 29, 2020.
Will the additional $600 per week (FPUC) be issued as part of my regular benefits, or separately?

The additional $600 per week will be paid via a separate weekly payment and will appear on your pay stubs with the designation "FAC". It will be paid until July 25, 2020 as long as you are still eligible for unemployment benefits. The first payment will include any retroactive payments for which you may be eligible, dating as far back as March 29, 2020.

How long can I receive benefits through the PUA program?
Benefits will be retroactive to the date you became eligible, which could have been as early as February 2. Those who are eligible can receive benefits for up to 39 weeks, but not past December 26, 2020.
I received a notice that I was overpaid benefits so 50% of my future benefits will be withheld. How is that possible?
You may have entered your wages but not your weeks worked. If that is the case, our system may have overestimated your appropriate benefit amount. It’s also possible that you entered past earnings without documentation. If so, your weekly payment will default to the minimum $189, with an overpayment noted for weeks claimed. Whenever overpayments are issued, Ohio law requires up to 50% of future benefits to be applied to the overpayment balance. To view your overpayment details, log in to your account at pua.unemployment.ohio.gov and select "Manage Debt."
I received an email, but it appears to be blank. What should I do?
Sometimes emails do not show up properly when opened on some models of iPhones. Please try opening the email on a desktop or laptop.
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