Workers face new federal requirements for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

State News

Little Rock, Ark. – The federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program was recently revised and extended under the Continued Assistance Act (CAA).

The CAA revision strengthens documentation requirements to ensure PUA program integrity and identification verification. In addition to verifying ID, all PUA claimants must submit documents showing proof they were working or self-employed at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic or scheduled to start working on or after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to qualify for benefits (UIPL 16-20 Change 4). This documentation demonstrates a recent attachment to the labor force and serves as an important tool against fraud.

It is important for PUA claimants to know that even if they previously submitted proof of wages and tax documents to have their weekly benefit amount redetermined above the minimum $132, they must also submit documentation to substantiate employment/self-employment in order to satisfy this new federal requirement. Acceptable forms of documentation will vary from claimant to claimant and depend on the unemployment situation.

Some examples include but are not limited to, paycheck stubs, earnings and leave statements showing the employer’s name and address, and W-2 forms when available. For those who are self-employed, some examples include State or Federal employer identification numbers, business licenses, tax returns, business receipts, and signed affidavits from persons verifying the individual’s self-employment. Those filing for PUA can find full details on the documentation requirements, including a list of acceptable forms of documentation, on  ARunemployment.com.

Individuals must send or upload documentation prior to their submission deadline. The submission deadlines vary for applicants depending on their application date.

For individuals who:Documents must be submitted within:
Submitted a new PUA application on or after January 31, 202121 days from the application date.
Had an existing PUA claim as of December 27, 202090 days from the application date or by January 29, 2021*, whichever is later.  
Submitted a new PUA application before January 31, 2021 90 days from the application date or by January 29, 2021*, whichever is later.  

*90 days or the date the applicant is instructed to provide such documentation by the state agency (in Arkansas, that date is January 29, 2021).

Claimants should include their name, contact information and application number on each document submitted. ADWS does not accept videos for documentation purposes.

Documents may be submitted using the following methods:

P.O. Box 8120

Little Rock, AR 72203-8120

For full details on the documentation requirements for PUA, visit ARunemployment.com.

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