EDD Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Info Updated

EDD will begin accepting online applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program on Tuesday, April 28. This program is designed to help unemployed Californians who are business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, have limited work history, and others not usually eligible for regular state UI benefits, and provides:

  • Up to 39 weeks of benefits starting with weeks of unemployment beginning February 2, 2020, through the week ending December 26, 2020, depending on when a claimant became directly impacted by the pandemic.
  • An additional $600 to each PUA weekly benefit amount a claimant may be eligible to receive, as part of the separate CARES Act Pandemic Additional Compensation program. Only the weeks of a claim between March 29 and July 25* are eligible for the extra $600 payments.

*Under the CARES Act, the $600 additional benefits are available through 07/31/20. However, for most Californians, the last full week of benefits will end on 07/25/20. Similarly, the PUA program has a legislative end date of 12/31/20, but for Californians the last full week of benefits will end on 12/26/20.

Benefits can be retroactive to weeks starting on or after February 2, 2020, depending on the last day of work due to COVID-19 and regardless of when the claim application was submitted.

The effective date of the claim will begin the Sunday of the week when the claimant last worked and became unemployed due to reasons directly related to COVID-19.   

Visit the Labor Workforce Development Agency’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance FAQs for more information, including details on how soon benefits could start.