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Delaware Department of Labor



Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Claims




BENEFIT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES CONCERNING YOUR PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE (PUA) CLAIM

INTRODUCTION

You have filed a claim for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) with the State of Delaware Division of Unemployment Insurance. The purpose of the information provided below is to inform you of your rights and responsibilities under Delaware Unemployment Insurance law and federal PUA law. Please read this information carefully.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides unemployment compensation to individuals affected by COVID-19. Individuals who are 1) self-employed, 2) seeking part-time employment, 3) do not have sufficient work history, or 4) otherwise would not qualify for regular state unemployment benefits (UI), Extended Benefits (EB), or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) can file claims for PUA.

PUA is also available to those individuals who become the breadwinner, or major support, due to the death of the head of household as a direct result of the pandemic. Individuals who were to commence employment at the time of the pandemic or after may also be entitled to benefits if their ability to begin employment was affected by the pandemic.

The following individuals are not eligible for PUA:

  • individuals who have the ability to telework with pay; or
  • individuals receiving paid sick leave or other paid benefits leave, regardless of whether they meet any of the other qualifications; or
  • Individuals who are undocumented workers.

A covered individual is someone who:

  1. is not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits (UI) or Extended Benefits (EB) or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), including an individual who has exhausted all rights to regular state unemployment benefits (UI) or Extended Benefits (EB) or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC);
  2. provides self-certification that the individual is otherwise able to work and available to work, except is unemployed, partially employed, or unable or unavailable to work due to one of the COVID-19 pandemic related reasons indicated below:
    • The individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms of COVID- 19 and seeking a diagnosis;
    • A member of individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
    • The individual is providing care for a family member or member of household with COVID-19;
    • A child or other person in household who individual is primary caregiver is unable to attend school or other facility that is closed because of COVID-19 emergency causing individual the inability to work;
    • The individual cannot reach place of employment because of quarantine imposed as a direct result of COVID-19 emergency;
    • The individual cannot reach place of employment because they have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;
    • The individual was scheduled to begin work but now does not have a job or cannot reach the job as a direct result of COVID-19 emergency;
    • The individual has become breadwinner or major support for household because head of household died as a direct result of COVID-19;
    • The individual has to quit job as a direct result of COVID-19; or
    • The individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

WEEKLY BENEFIT AMOUNT

Your initial PUA weekly benefit amount will be the minimum amount of $133.00. Within 21 days of filing your claim, your weekly benefit amount will be established based on documentation you submit showing your gross wages for employment/net income for self-employment for the most recently completed calendar year (CY 2019) and you will be issued a monetary determination. If you have low or no reportable wages, your claim will be established at the minimum PUA weekly benefit amount of $133.00. The maximum PUA weekly benefit amount is $400.00. If you disagree with your monetary determination, you may request a etermination.

MONETARY REDETERMINATIONS

If you disagree with the amount of your monetary entitlement, you must present proof of wages/income for the previous calendar year (CY 2019) and request a reconsideration of your monetary award. This request must be made before the end of the PUA period, which is the week ending December 26, 2020. A request for a monetary redetermination is to be submitted by email to de.puaclaims@delaware.gov or by regular mail to DUI Attn: Local Office 4425 N. Market St. Wilmington, DE 19802 If your wages/income for CY 2019 entitle you to a higher weekly benefit amount, the Division will make a redetermination and recalculate your benefit entitlement for all the weeks you have filed a certification for PUA.

REPORTING AND FILING REQUIREMENTS TO RECEIVE PUA

  • You must file a weekly claim for PUA benefits online at pua.delawareworks.com. You must file your weekly claim on any day of the week following the Saturday of the week you are claiming. For example, if you are claiming PUA benefits for the week ending 6/6/2020, you must file for this week on one of these days: 6/7/2020, 6/8/2020, 6/9/2020, 6/10/2020, 6/11/2020, 6/12/2020, or 6/13/2020.
  • As part of your weekly claim filing, you must self-certify under penalty of perjury that you meet one of the listed COVID-19 related reasons.
  • You must report all earnings during the week when earned even if you are not paid during that week or if self-employed, you must report gross income from self- employment when received regardless of when earned.
  • You must report the amount before deductions. Include all wages, commissions, tips, and gratuities.
  • As long as the COVID-19 State of Emergency is in effect, the Delaware Division of Unemployment Insurance has suspended the active work search requirements of Section 3315 (3), Title 19, DE Code. Therefore, until such time as the State of Emergency is lifted, you will not be required to actively search work every week as a condition of eligibility for PUA. When the active work search requirement is reinstated, a notice will posted online at labor.delaware.gov.
  • If you move, you must report your new address to the Division as soon as possible by using the claimant portal at: ocs.delawareworks.com, by fax to 302-366-1783 or by regular mail at DUI Attn: Local Office 4425 N. Market St, Wilmington, DE 19802.

DURATION OF BENEFITS

Delaware Governor John Carney’s declaration of a State of Emergency was made on March 13, 2020. Accordingly, PUA claims in the Delaware Division of Unemployment Insurance’s automated system can initially be backdated to March 15, 2020. However, if you have reason to believe the cause of your unemployment prior to that date is related to the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact us at de.puaclaims@delaware.gov to request backdating of your claim prior to March 15, 2020.

Your eligibility to receive PUA benefits will be determined on a week-to-week basis. For each week you file a PUA claim, you must self-certify that your reason for being unemployed is a direct result of one of the listed COVID-19 pandemic reasons. The maximum duration of PUA benefits payable is 39 weeks, but no PUA benefits are payable after the week ending December 26, 2020.

REDUCTIONS IN PUA WEEKLY BENEFITS

PUA benefits may be denied or reduced if you begin to receive or are receiving income from one or more of the following in any week in which you file a PUA weekly claim certification:

  • Earnings from employment or self-employment
  • Workers’ Compensation or other Disability payments
  • Bonuses or Tips
  • Holiday Pay
  • Retirement pension or annuity
  • Back Pay awards
  • Commissions
  • Dismissal payments/Severance pay
  • Paid sick leave or other paid leave
  • Payments under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

You are required to report in your weekly claim certification if you received income from any of the above listed sources that week.

If you are required to pay Child Support through the Delaware Division of Child Support Enforcement, a deduction may be made from your PUA benefits.

If you owe the Division an overpayment of prior unemployment benefits, a deduction may be made from your PUA benefits.

FEDERAL PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION

If you are entitled to a PUA benefit payment for any week from the week ending April 4, 2020 through the week ending July 25, 2020, you are also entitled to $600.00 of additional benefits under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program for those weeks.

DISQUALIFICATION OR TERMINATION OF BENEFITS

You may be disqualified from the receipt of PUA benefits or your PUA benefits may be terminated, for the following reasons:

  • You become employed, or
  • You refuse without good cause to accept suitable employment, or
  • You refuse without good cause to accept referral to suitable employment, or
  • You are not able and available for work, unless you are not able and available for work due to a COVID-19 pandemic related reason, or
  • It is determined that your unemployment is no longer a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

APPEALS

Any determination regarding your eligibility for PUA benefits may be appealed. You must file the appeal within 10 days of the date the determination was mailed to you. If the 10-day appeals period ends on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal state holiday, the appeals period is extended to the next workday that is not a holiday. You may file an appeal by email at DOL_DUI_Appeals_Request@delaware.gov by regular mail at DUI Attn Appeals 4425 N. Market St. Wilmington, DE 19802 or through the claimant portal at ocs.delawareworks.com. When filing your appeal, you should indicate your full name, address, phone number, email address, and Appeal Docket Number of the decision being appealed and the reason for the appeal.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES/FRAUDULENT CLAIMS

It is your responsibility to give correct answers to any questions asked in regards to your initial and weekly claims for PUA benefits. Failure to do so may result in your PUA benefits being delayed or denied.

All information that you provide regarding your PUA claim is subject to verification. PUA benefits are provided pursuant to federal and state law. Criminal and/or civil penalties for violation of federal and/or state laws will be enforced for willfully making false statements or concealing information to obtain or increase PUA benefits to which you were not entitled.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR PUA CLAIM?

Call or email the Delaware Division of Unemployment Insurance at de.puaclaims@delaware.gov or 302-761-8446.



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