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Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

Learn more about what you need to know about filing for unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is a federal program that was included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The program provides support for Americans who are unable to work due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but do not qualify for traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI). If you qualify for PUA, you may be eligible to receive:

  • Up to 79 weeks of PUA benefits.

  • An additional $600/week for weeks ending 4/5/2020 to 7/26/2020.

  • An additional $300/week for weeks ending 1/3/2021 to 9/5/2021.

The best way to apply is online. DOL has a streamlined application that allows you to apply for either traditional UI or PUA, depending on their eligibility. You do not have to complete a separate application for PUA.

PUA Update – 1/30/2020: New Yorkers who are enrolled in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program do not need to reapply for benefits if they continue to be unemployed when they reach the end of their initial benefit year. Instead, PUA claimants should continue to certify weekly while unemployed to continue receiving the benefits they are eligible for. Claimants who are receiving traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI), should reapply if they continue to be unemployed when their benefit year has ended. For more information about extended benefits, visit

Article Source: New York State, Department of Labor,

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