Documentation for PUA claims

Update (24 May 2021): The May 20th deadline date listed below is a general guess at what the Department is doing. The documentation date for your specific case will vary. For example, those who are just being paid PUA benefits now and whose PUA claims include weeks from the summer of 2020 will probably have until late August 2021 to provide the required documentation. And, those who have new PUA claims that start no earlier than December 2020 will only have 21 days from their initial claim date to provide the requested documentation.

The intent here is to proactive and provide the required documentation ASAP to avoid the administrative sludge being created for you here.

Update (13 May 2021): Here is a PDF document I prepared for folks in a support group that will be contacting others about this PUA documentation requirement.

The Continued Assistance Act included a new documentation requirement for PUA claims. In my original post on the Continued Assistance Act, I explained:

There is now an additional documentation requirement for PUA claims. Claimants will have to provide documentation regarding their employment, self-employment, or the job offer/work they were slated to start for any weeks PUA weeks for the week ending 1/2/2021 or later.

  • New PUA claims filed on Jan. 31st or later will have to provide that documentation within 21 days of the claim.
  • Continued PUA claims or initial PUA claims filed prior to Jan. 31st will have 90 days to provide this documentation.

This documentation requirement only applies when PUA benefits are paid for weeks in 2021. If you only collect PUA benefits for 2020 weeks claimed, then you do NOT need to provide this additional documentation.

But, those PUA claimants who have filed for PUA benefits for weeks in 2021, you NEED to provide this documentation even if you have previously submitted this same documentation to the Department already.

And, this documentation MUST be submitted VERY SOON. The Department sent this notice dated 19 Feb. 2021 to many claimants and indicated that the documentation had to be submitted within 90 days of this letter. That means the documentation MUST BE SUBMITTED to the Department no later than 20 May 2021.

So, 20 May 2021 may be when additional documentation is due in your case.

This additional documentation needs to be mailed to:

PUA
PO Box 7905
Madison WI 53707

Or faxed to 608-327-6193. Include a cover page that states: ATTN: PUA, your full name, your social security number, and the number of pages being faxed.

Make sure to keep a copy of what you send in as well as a record of when you mailed or faxed this documentation in.

For those PUA claimants who are filing certifications for weeks in 2021, below is the kind of documentation you need to provide the Department, organized by the type of reason for your PUA benefits. Note that many of the PUA claim reasons do not require any documentation. Only those reasons connected to a loss of employment because of the pandemic require this additional documentation. Here is what you need to provide (if “no additional documentation needed” is listed below, then you are fine and do not need to support any additional documentation).

PUA claim reasons

I have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or am experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and am seeking a medical diagnosis.

No additional documentation needed.

A member of my household has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

No additional documentation needed.

I am providing care for a family member or a member of my household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

No additional documentation needed.

A child or other person in my household for which I am the primary caregiver is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and such school or facility care is required for me to work.

No additional documentation needed.

I am unable to reach my place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

No additional documentation needed.

I am unable to reach my place of employment because I have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.

No additional documentation needed.

I was scheduled to commence employment and do not have a job or am unable to reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Letters offering employment, statements/affidavits by individuals (with name and contact information) verifying an offer of employment.

If self-employment was slated to start up but was halted because of the pandemic, provide business licenses, state or Federal employer identification numbers, written business plans, a lease agreement, or some other documentation of the planned start of the gig work.

I have become the breadwinner or major support for my household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19.

No additional documentation needed.

I quit my job as a direct result of COVID-19.

No additional documentation needed.

My place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Paycheck stubs, earnings and leave statements showing the employer’s name and address, or W-2 forms.

For employees of such organizations like the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and educational or religious organizations where traditional employment relationships may not exist, there are additional options, like documentation of work being done provided by these organizations or signed affidavits from persons verifying the individual’s attachment to such organizations is allowed.

I am self-employed (including an independent contractor and gig worker) and experienced a significant reduction of my customary or usual services because of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

State or Federal employer identification numbers, business licenses, tax returns, business receipts, screen shots of documented earnings and work performed and the dates for such work, or signed affidavits from persons verifying the individual’s self-employment

I was denied continued unemployment benefits because I refused to return to work or accept an offer of work at a worksite that, in either instance, is not in compliance with local, state, or national health and safety standards directly related to COVID-19. This includes but is not limited to, those related to facial mask wearing, physical distancing measures, or the provision of personal protective equipment consistent with public health guidelines.

No additional documentation needed.

I provide services to an educational institution or educational service agency and am unemployed or partially unemployed because of volatility in the work schedule that is directly caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. This includes, but is not limited to, changes in schedules and partial closures.

Pay stubs or earnings and leave statements showing the employer’s name and address, W-2 forms, some kind of documentation of work being done which is provided by these organizations, or signed affidavits from persons verifying the individual’s attachment to such organizations.

I am an employee and my hours have been reduced or I was laid off as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Pay stubs or earnings and leave statements showing the employer’s name and address, W-2 forms, some kind of documentation of work being done which is provided by these organizations, or signed affidavits from persons verifying the individual’s attachment to such organizations.

Final thoughts

Keep in mind that the PUA benefits you are claiming in 2021 may be based on multiple reasons. For instance, your PUA claim could be based on your employer closing because of the pandemic, but you also may have been quarantined because of Covid-19 for two weeks in February 2021. So, if your PUA claim for weeks in 2021 is based on any of the reasons identified above for which additional documentation is needed, including a job loss dating back to 2020, then you need to provide the indicated documentation.

The penalty for failing to submit this additional documentation is repayment of all PUA benefits for weeks in 2021:

[For] the individual [who] fails to provide documentation or [who] fails to show good cause to have the deadline extended, an overpayment must be established for all of the weeks paid beginning with the week ending January 2, 2021. This is because the individual cannot be ineligible for a week of unemployment ending before the date of enactment solely for failure to submit documentation.

UIPL No. 16-20 Change 4 (8 Jan. 2021) at I-12.

One thought on “Documentation for PUA claims

  1. Pingback: File a backup PUA initial claim NOW | Wisconsin Unemployment

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