Novel coronavirus disease called 2019-nCoV handwriting on blue paper

Unemployment Benefits Available Now for Independent Contractors and Other Non-Employees

In conjunction with the federal CARES Act, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) implemented the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program to offer unemployment benefits to qualifying independent contractors, business owners, self-employed individuals and other workers who typically are not eligible for EDD unemployment benefits.

The PUA program pays up to 39 weeks of benefits for weeks of unemployment beginning February 2, 2020 through December 26, 2020 if the worker has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The federal government will provide an additional $600 per week to each PUA benefit amount and a 13-week extension of payments if a worker’s state benefits run out.

Applicants can file for PUA benefits online through the EDD.  An individual applying will need to provide proof of U.S. Citizenship or legal employment authorization.  They will also need to provide information about their work history, including gross wages and rate of pay from the last 18 months, and whether they are a business owner, independent contractor, or gig worker.  Former federal employees or military personnel will need to provide employment certification forms issued by the federal government, known as a Standard Form 8 or DD 214 form.

Information about how to file for PUA benefits is available online at

The material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute, legal advice or promise similar outcomes.  For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500. (photo credit:

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