Disclaimer: These FAQs are subject to change based on new information. Additionally, due to modifications of the UI program as a result of COVID-19 responses, many of the FAQs have modified answers. Please check back frequently. This website is not intended as legal advice. Any responses to specific questions are based on the facts as we understand them and the law that was current when the responses were written. They are not intended to apply to any other situations. This communication is not an agency order. If you need legal advice, you must consult an attorney.
Updated: 2021-01-29 10:00 EDT
The CARES Act creates a new temporary federal program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). The federal government has renewed the PUA program by providing an additional 11 of benefits, for a total of up to 50 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits (UI) or Extended Benefits (EB), including those individuals who have exhausted all rights to such benefits. Individuals covered under PUA include the self-employed (e.g. independent contractors, gig economy workers, and workers for certain religious entities), those seeking part-time employment, individuals lacking sufficient work history, and those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits. The PUA program extension is available from the week ending January 2, 2021, through week ending April 10, 2021. No new PUA claims may be filed after March 13, 2021.
You should file for regular UI if you have an employer and:
You should file for PUA if you are ineligible for regular UI because you have lost income due to COVID-19 and you:
You may be eligible for PUA if you are self-employed, an independent contractor, do not have sufficient work history to qualify for regular UC, have exhausted your rights to regular UC benefits or extended benefits, work for certain faith based organizations, or otherwise are ineligible for traditional UI benefits.
PUA provides up to 50 weeks of benefits to covered individuals who are not eligible for regular UI and who are otherwise able and available to work except that they are unemployed, partially employed, or are unable or unavailable to work because of any one of the following COVID-19-related reasons:
If you are not eligible for traditional UI benefits, we will send you a denial with instructions on how to file for PUA. A denial includes a monetary determination that states you have no eligible wages.
Federal guidelines for PUA define “self-employed individuals” as those whose primary reliance for income is on the performance of services in the individual’s own business or on the individual’s own farm.
For the purposes of PUA, “self-employed” includes independent contractors, gig economy workers, and workers for certain religious entities.
In Delaware, the determination of whether you are an “employee” or an “independent contractor” depends on the conditions of your work, not on what your employer tells you or how your employer has classified you.
To be considered an independent contractor, the following must be shown to the satisfaction of the department:
Yes, you may be eligible for PUA if your primary source of income is from work you do for your own business or on your own farm, and if you have a COVID-19 reason for being unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work.
Acceptable documentation of wages can include but is not limited to:
The amount of PUA benefits you will receive is based on your previous income reported. PUA benefits may not be more than the state’s maximum weekly benefit rate for regular unemployment insurance (UI), which is $400.00 in Delaware. PUA benefits may not be less than half of the state’s average weekly benefit amount. In Delaware, the minimum weekly PUA benefit amount is $133.00. Your minimum weekly benefit amount may be reduced by certain deductions, including weekly earnings, pension, retirement, Paycheck Protection Program payments, or paid sick leave or other paid leave.
All individuals entitled to at least $1 in PUA benefits in a week will also receive $600.00 for that week from Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), in addition to PUA weekly benefits.
Yes, if you are eligible for at least $1 of PUA in a week, you are also eligible for $300.00 for that week under the FPUC program.
The maximum length of time an individual may collect PUA benefits is 50 weeks. The PUA program extension is available from the week ending January 2, 2021, through week ending April 10, 2021. No new PUA claims may be filed after March 13, 2021.
No. If you are able to telework with pay or declined an option to telework for the same number of hours, you are not eligible for PUA.
If you are working fewer hours due to COVID-19 and it has resulted in a loss in income, and you are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits (UI), you may be eligible for PUA.
If you are receiving paid sick leave or other leave benefits, you are not eligible for PUA.
If you exhaust your paid leave but are unable to work for one or more of the COVID-19 related reasons listed in the FAQ, you may be eligible for regular UC or PUA at that time.
Yes, you may be eligible for PUA in this situation.
Yes, you may be eligible for PUA in this situation.
Yes, gig workers with reportable income may be eligible if:
Self-employed individuals, independent contractors, or gig workers who experience a significant diminution of work as a result of COVID-19 or have had to suspend their work as a direct result of COVID-19 may be eligible for PUA.