State Representative Paul K. Frost announces the Baker-Polito Administration has opened up the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) portal for those who do not qualify for traditional unemployment assistance. The portal, created from scratch and originally scheduled to open on April 30th, has been made available today April 20th for Massachusetts only.
The new federal PUA program provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits for those who are unable to work because of a COVID-19-related reason but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits. This includes self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and those with limited work history.
Claimants can now file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) by applying online at: www.mass.gov/pua
PUA is a program open to the following individuals:
• Self-employed individuals, including gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors.
• Those seeking part-time employment.
• Claimants that have an insufficient work history to qualify for benefits.
• Claimants that have been laid off from churches and religious institutions and are not eligible for benefits under state law.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is a separate program from regular unemployment insurance. It was created by the federal CARES Act, which the states administer. Please visit www.mass.gov/pua for more information.