How do I apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance?

Answer

Updated March, 2021

To apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), you must apply for unemployment through your state’s labor department. Even though this is a federal program, the qualifications and benefit amount are still based on individual state laws.

If you have access to the Internet, visit the department’s website first to see if you can apply online. Department phone lines across the nations are likely extremely busy during these times, so if you have to call, expect very long wait times.

The method of applying has not been changed after President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law. The only update is that the program has been extended until September 6, 2021.

For more information on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance:

More Coronavirus FAQs from Low Income Households

  • Do I have to do anything if I’m on a rental subsidy program and become unemployed or lose hours from coronavirus?
  • Are housing authorities still open during the coronavirus outbreak?
  • Can I be evicted if I can't pay rent because of coronavirus?
  • Are there coronavirus assistance programs for landlords?
  • Do I have to pay all of my back rent when the CDC moratorium ends?