Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

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Self-employed, contract, gig and other workers not eligible for regular unemployment benefits should complete the PUA application one time, and then only file weekly certifications once per week by  mail, fax, or secure upload each week they remain out of work or have greatly reduced income due to COVID-19 closures.

   PUA Initial Claim and Weekly Certification Secure Upload

   Instructions on How to File a PUA Application

   Instructions on How to File a PUA Weekly Certification

   PUA Income Documentation Guide

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

The federal CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The Act provides enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for Oregonians. Here’s what you need to know.

There are four ways to start a new application for PUA benefits:

Secure upload: Use the application materials above, and submit them by secure upload on our claims page.

Mail: You can mail your PUA application and weekly claim reports to Oregon Employment Department at P.O. Box 14165, Salem, OR 97311.

Fax: We have several fax machines linked to the 503-371-2893 fax number for your PUA application and weekly claim reports.

    Read More PUA Frequently Asked Questions Here

    New Secure Upload Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Frequently Asked Questions

PUA is a federal program created through the CARES Act of 2020, and provides unemployment benefits to workers that are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits. This includes people who are self-employed, independent contractors, and those who do not have enough recent earnings to receive regular unemployment benefits.

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Those who are out of work due to COVID-19 and not eligible for any other unemployment insurance benefits will be eligible for PUA. Eligible workers include the:

  • Self-employed, 1099 contract workers, and gig workers
  • Employees whose wages are not reported for unemployment insurance
  • Employees who have not earned enough wages or worked enough hours for regular unemployment benefits, and
  • People who were going to start work but could not.
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The minimum PUA benefit is $205 per week. You could be eligible for an increased benefit amount between $205 and $648 per week. Your weekly benefit amount is 1.25 percent of your total base year earnings. It is net earnings for self-employed workers, but gross earnings for other employees. Your payment will be at least the minimum weekly benefit ($205) and no more than the maximum weekly benefit ($648) identified under PUA. 

  • If you are eligible for PUA, you will receive at least the minimum weekly benefit amount. 
  • To be eligible for a higher weekly benefit amount, you must: 
    • have earned more than $16,480 in the 2019 tax year, and 
    • provide proof of income for your most recently completed tax year (2019 for most people). 
  • You can use the form 196 PUA to estimate how much you may be eligible to receive. If you are eligible for PUA, you will also receive an additional $600 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits per eligible week from the week starting March 29 through the week July 25, 2020. This does not mean you will automatically receive FPUC for every week from March 29 through July; your eligibility will still need to be determined.
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PUA benefits may last for up to 39 weeks if you are eligible and out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Possible eligible weeks begin on the week starting February 2, 2020, through the week ending December 26, 2020. This does not mean you will automatically receive PUA for every week from February through December; your eligibility will still need to be determined.

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We will establish your claim at the minimum amount of $205 per week without proof of income. However, you should still gather and keep your documentation in case your claim is audited. If you wish to have us evaluate your income to increase your benefit amount, you will need to submit proof of your earnings for your most recently completed tax year, such as: 

  • 2019 Business tax return showing your net income 
  • 2019 pay stubs 
  • 2019 W-2

For purposes of determining your benefit amount, your wages will be calculated using any earnings earned in covered employment and self-employment. In order for us to make these calculations, you will be required to provide proof of your net earnings from your self-employment for your most recently completed tax year.

PUA claims are subject to audit, including random audits. During those audits we may request proof of earnings from employment or self-employment. We will accept various forms of proof during this process. We may also ask for proof of your qualifying situation.

Failing to provide accurate information on the self-certification will result in a denial of the current and future PUA benefits. You will be required to pay back any benefits paid, and you may face federal criminal prosecution.

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We anticipate that tens of thousands of applications to be submitted, likely all at once. Each claim requires review for each week of eligibility, and that processing takes time. The PUA process can take as little as one week or up to a month, depending on the complexity of the claim. We will post more information on payment timeframes as it becomes available. Subscribe for notifications on the COVID-19 page to receive automatic updates.

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You will be self-certifying that the information you are providing is true. Falsifying information on the self-certification will result in the denial of current and future PUA benefits, you will have to pay back any benefits paid, and you may face federal criminal prosecution.

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If you are eligible for PUA, you are also eligible for the additional $600 per week included in the CARES Act. The $600 per week Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits will automatically be paid to you in a separate payment. If you are not eligible for PUA in a particular week, you will not receive the $600 FPUC payment for that week either. FPUC is potentially payable for the weeks March 29, 2020, through July 25, 2020.

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 Situation in the U.S. and Globally

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) leads the U.S. response. The World Health Organization (WHO) guides the global response.

 Information from CDC   Information from WHO





 Resources for the Community


Social Distancing

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Spread facts, not fear.

Oregon is seeing an increase in incidents of discrimination and harassment related to the COVID-19 virus. It is important that all people, businesses, and other organizations act on facts, not bias or xenophobia. Health officials confirm there are no links between COVID-19 infection and a person’s race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability, or national origin. COVID-19 can infect anyone who is exposed to it, and anyone can spread COVID-19. 

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In consideration of staffing challenges and health concerns due to COVID-19, Governor Kate Brown announced a statewide closure of Oregon K-12 schools from Monday, March 16 through Tuesday, April 28.

OHA knows we are asking a lot of Oregonians in order to protect those who are particularly vulnerable to this virus, and there is a lot of fear and anxiety in our communities. Educators are the heart of our schools, which in turn are the heart of our communities. In the wake of COVID-19’s arrival in Oregon, our schools are facing operational and business challenges.

We stand with the governor and our education partners as they make difficult decisions in response to these operational challenges in their school communities.

Resources from Oregon Department of Education

Child Care Resources from Early Learning Division

In partnership with OHA, the Early Learning Division (ELD) has created new tools for addressing concerns in child care around COVID-19.

Resources from Oregon Higher Education





Updated on September 21st, 2020 01:49PM