New PUA benefits require verification process

New unemployment claims have jumped to nearly 1 million, moving up along with surging corona virus figures. Yes, unemployment safety nets are in place. But, for those filing for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, PUA, you will now have to verify employment. 

Let’s review quickly who qualifies and for how long. This federal unemployment benefit is offered for up to 39 weeks. Workers traditionally left out of unemployment claims can access the program. And they are: self-employed or gig workers, 1099 independent contractors, employees of churches, employees of non-profits, or those with limited work history who do not qualify for state unemployment benefits.

Same as last time, right? But here’s the difference. The feds are requiring a new verification process this time because of so many fraudulent claims the first round. And those fraudulent claims clog up the system. 

Before, you could swear under threat of perjury that you were qualified. Now you have to prove it. But, and this is important - the Georgia Department of Labor isn’t taking those documents yet, but it's coming soon. 

Here are the types of documents that you might be asked to submit with your claim: business-related tax returns, a business license, an IRS employ ID, perhaps invoices with your company name. 

This is just a heads up. Don’t act on this now. But do get your paperwork in order because DOL will ask for it soon enough. 

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