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CARES Act Planning Tip: Unemployment Insurance Thumbnail

CARES Act Planning Tip: Unemployment Insurance

By: Yen Truong

This blog will focus on the state unemployment insurance (UI) program, which is one of the provisions of the CARES (the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act. Below are the key points regarding the extended programs under unemployment insurance rules that you should know.

Pandemic Employment Assistance (PUA) program

You may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits under PUA program if you are unemployed, partially unemployed, unable to work, or unavailable to work due to COVID-19 directly related reasons AND one of the following statements applies to you:

  • You are self-employed and not participating in the Unemployment Elective Coverage Program.
  • You don’t have sufficient work history to file for a regular UI claim.
  • You have collected all your eligible unemployment benefits and you remain unemployed or partially unemployed due to a COVID-19 directly related reason.

The PUA benefits will be paid for the weeks of unemployment from February 2, 2020 to December 31, 2020 (for Californians, the period ending date would be December 26, 2020). The benefits will be paid over different phases. The initial payments will be paid per the following schedule:

Time Period

Weekly Payment

Additional Weekly Payment

2/2/2020 – 3/28/20



3/29/2020 – 7/25/2020



7/26/2020 – 12/26/2020




If eligible, you can receive the PUA benefits up to a total of 39 weeks (including the weeks that you received your regular UI and any other extended UI benefits).

The Employment Development Department (EDD) will start accepting the online applications for the PUA program on April 28, 2020. The benefits can be retroactive to February 2, 2020 if you are eligible regardless of when you submit your claim application.

If you have any other questions about the unemployment insurance rules of the CARES Act, please feel free to call us at 916-924-7527 so you can have a further discussion with our advisors.

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