UI Benefits Now Available to Independent Contractors, Self-Employed, Contract, Gig Workers

Date: April 29, 2020

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program “open and accepting applications”

Oregon finally has its Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program up and running, and ready to be applied for. The PUA is part of the federal CARES Act, which passed Congress March 27.

States had to wait until April 5 to get guidance on its implementation from the U.S. Dept. of Labor. Once that came, some states moved faster than others. Two dozen states had begun processing applications by April 15. Oregon and California just started April 28, and Arizona, one example, will start even later on May 12.

According to the Oregon Employment Department, “The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program is open and accepting applications.” Its aim is to get unemployment benefits to “self-employed, contract, and gig workers not eligible for regular unemployment benefits, and who are filing for the first time.”

Says the department, “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.”

Visit this webpage to learn more about benefits, eligibility, and to file an application.



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