Anthony posted this comment following his recent eligibility for PUA, “Hi guys I just found out about the PUA. I filed for regular unemployment on June 14 and was denied. I got a email stating that I was eligible for the PUA and today was my first day to claim it. I claimed for 2 weeks no problem. My question is about the $600 enhanced unemployment (FPUC) and if I get back pay from the date the program was initiated, or do I just start getting the 600 from the week that I filed?
The answer to this question may vary depending on the state in which you claim unemployment, but generally speaking and while the PUA and FPUC programs are subject to different timelines, if you qualified for the PUA program between early April and the end of July, you would be eligible for the $600 FPUC weekly benefit which is payable during this period (unless the overall FPUC program is extended). This includes backdated payments for weeks you were eligible for PUA due to COVID-19 related reasons.
In most states retroactive PUA and FPUC payments will be paid in one lump-sum one to two weeks after you are deemed eligible for benefits. If you only recently became eligible for the PUA program, you may receive your $600 FPUC payment separately the week after your first PUA payment.
You should get a formal PUA benefits determination letter or award notice from your state unemployment agency stating the weekly benefit amount and backdated payments you are eligible for. Please pay attention to additional information that may need to be provided or certification steps to be undertaken to actually get the unemployment benefit paid/processed.
In many states, like New Jersey, unemployed workers must explicitly certify for their PUA claim for past weeks, even if they previously certified their regular unemployment claim for the same week. In other words, because PUA claims are processed separately from regular unemployment claims in several states, certifying information must be completed separately.
Note however that PUA claims can be backdated to the week of January 27, 2020 or to the first week you were unemployed due to COVID-19, whichever of the two dates is later. PUA UIC amounts are more in line with regular state UIC amounts and do not include the extra $600 payment under the FPUC program.
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