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DWD is now taking applications for Pandemic Unemployment

MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced today that it is now accepting applications for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. 

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, PUA may be available to individuals who became unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and are:

  • Self-employed (e.g., self-employed, free lancers, independent contractors, and part-time workers),
  • Do not have sufficient work history to be eligible for a regular unemployment insurance (UI) claim, or
  • Have exhausted other forms of state and federal UI benefits. 

The maximum PUA weekly benefit rate is $370, with the minimum rate at $163. 

This program is 100% federally funded and is available for 39 weeks beginning the week ending February 8, 2020 through the week ending December 26, 2020. 

Individuals receiving PUA may also receive the $600 weekly benefit amount under the Federal Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).  

To Qualify:

Individuals must meet eligibility requirements and be fully or partially unemployed for one of the following COVID19 reasons:

  1. The individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
  2. A member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  3. The individual is providing care for a family member or a household member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  4. A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work.
  5. The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  6. The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because the individual has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  7. 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 the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  8. 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.
  9. The individual had to quit their job as a direct result of COVID-19.
  10. The individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

To Apply:

Beginning on April 21, 2020, there will be a link on the claimant's dashboard for filing an initial PUA application.

After a claimant is determined to be eligible for PUA, a link will be offered on the claimant's dashboard for filing weekly claims.

For more information on who qualifies for the program, how payment is calculated, and how to file an application for PUA, you can visit https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/pua/.

Sam Brink

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