Editors Note: This is a pretty confusing time for many and even more confusing time for anyone trying to understand what’s going on over at the Department of Labour. Recently, quite a few readers asked us to do a bit of digging into reports that claimants for the PUA programme may have to provide additional documentation towards the end of the month within an allotted time. We’re going to do our best here and will update this page as we learn more.
What is it?
The PUA programme is a form of UI (in a sense) that helps people who otherwise would not normally get UI itself. It has been enacted since the creation of the CARES ACT, and has significantly helped people since its inception.
What’s the problem?
The PUA programme was significantly abused by fraudsters and such (esp in places like California and New York.) As a result, the federal government has implemented a rule through the US DOL that notes that everyone prior and new must submit new documentation. The confusion here is exactly what that documentation is remains partially unknown.
From what we could find after spending several hours browsing DOL Twitter pages in at least 3 different cities it appears the documentation likely will range from:
- Wage reports
- 2019 tax reports (you may have to manually submit them so you might want to download them ahead of time.)
- You will not have to return funds prior to this bill. This new documentation is only for now going forward.
- According to what we’ve learned, for example, through the DOL website in places like New York. The documentation mostly appears to be that of substantiating employment claims. They’re likely looking to verify that you’re actually keeping up with the work-search requirements; the work search records, and actually participating in such. Pro Tip: We found that it is easiest to do such in the “Work Search” part of their website in most cities.
NOTE TO SELF EMPLOYED INDIVIDUALS:
You likely should be prepared to provide your 2019 tax return if you do not or did not have a W-2. For added benefit, you probably should also provide a copy of a report from whatever accounting service you may use if asked (think: Quickbooks.) Self employed individuals will have a little bit of a harder time trying to verify via documentation because they do not have the usual docs most do.
According to the National Review (See bottom of the page) the documentation will be along the lines of confirming current employment; self employment, or simply the fact that one is actually looking for work and eventually commencing work after finding a job. The same rules that were already laid out prior except now they’re being enforced on a much larger scale due to the sheer fraud found this year.
Should I continue to certify?
ABSOLUTELY. Just make sure you are gathering the likely expected documentation so you can submit it promptly. New PUA claims (like new new) have 21 days from 31 January to submit. Prior applicants have roughly 90 calendar days to submit it. Failure to do so means you likely will have to pay back *the new* funds once they find out.
We’ll update this page as we learn more as we have reached out to the DOL for exact clarfication as to what the documentation is.
CLARIFICATION UPDATE: Nerdwallet ‘s report on this matter also suggests that the new documentation requirement is simply employment or work search verification. See the bottom of the page (click here.)
If you have any questions or would like updates on this article feel free to reach out to our help desk and if we have gotten further clarification as mentioned — we will happily provide it. Bazaardailyhelp.Zendesk.com