Included in the recently passed CARES Act is Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) which provides additional unemployment insurance benefits to those who normally would not qualify to receive unemployment benefits. Recipients of PUA include self-employed individuals such as single-member LLC’s, sole proprietors, and independent contractors.

Self-employed individuals who are not working due to COVID-19 are eligible to collect unemployment benefits retroactive to the later date of February 2, 2020 or the first week the claimant was not working due to COVID-19 circumstances. Individuals can collect benefits until the week ending December 26, 2020.

Additionally, self-employed individuals collecting PUA will also be eligible to collect Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). The FPUC program provides individuals collecting unemployment benefits an additional $600 benefit payment per week. Thus, individuals receiving PUA benefits who are determined eligible for FPUC will receive an additional $600 benefit payment for the weeks ending April 4, 2020 to July 25, 2020.

To apply for PUA, you will need to go to your state website. The link to apply for PUA assistance for MA, and NY are below: