What is Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)?


Updated March, 2021

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is a temporary federal program that supplies unemployment benefits for those persons who become fully or partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to COVID-19 on or after January 27, 2020 and were not eligible to receive traditional unemployment compensation or PEUC. The PUA program is for self-employed people, independent contractors, gig-workers, and part-time workers. It was created as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed by President Trump in March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The PUA program has been extended until September 6, 2021; after President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 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?