State unveils new kind of coronavirus unemployment payment

Apr 15, 2020, 7:11 PM
(Utah State Capitol, file.  Credit: Paul Nelson)...
(Utah State Capitol, file. Credit: Paul Nelson)
(Utah State Capitol, file. Credit: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY – The state has a new way to help people hurting from the economic impact of COVID-19.  It’s aimed at people who normally wouldn’t qualify for regular unemployment payment.

The Department of Workforce Services unveiled the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, which is designed to work along with traditional unemployment benefits.  However, people applying for funds need to know the difference between the two systems.

“If you are eligible for unemployment insurance, then you are ineligible for pandemic unemployment,” according to Unemployment Insurance Division Director Kevin Burt.

When the pandemic first reached the US, labor officials announced they were expanding unemployment insurance payments to people who had lost hours, lost jobs, been furloughed or been laid off.  However, there were certain people who still wouldn’t qualify under that system.  Burt says the PUA fills in those gaps.

“The pandemic unemployment assistance is for people who are self-employed or working in the gig economy or they lack the sufficient wages to qualify for the traditional unemployment benefit,” he says.

It also goes to people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

People who qualify for the PUA are also eligible for the $600 weekly payment from the federal stimulus program.  Burt says they normally would be able to process claims within three weeks, however, since demand is much higher now, it could take as long as 30 days.

“Make sure that you complete the application, fully.  There is not a need to contact us.  If we have questions about your claim, we will contact you,” he says.

For anyone who is thinking about quitting their jobs to become eligible for this money, Burt says that’s a terrible idea.

He says, “If a person quits a job, that makes them ineligible for the unemployment insurance benefits.”

Workforce Services officials have a page on their website answering common questions about how someone can qualify for assistance.



Senators ask about specific COVID-19 help for American dairy farmers

Active duty Utah National Guardsmen working from home in virus effort

Virtual graduation?  Student petition says ‘No way’

Today’s Top Stories

COVID-19: Vaccine Watch

A sign reading "immunizations" hangs over a desk. COVID-19 vaccines Utah...
Samantha Herrera

Where to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider for children 5 and under in Utah

COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children as young as 6 months old, but where can you find a vaccine provider for your child in Utah?
12 days ago
A child is comforted after getting his COVID-19 vaccine....
Samantha Herrera

More COVID-19 vaccines ordered in Utah for children as young as 6 months

32,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months and older have been ordered by the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.
13 days ago
This combination of 2022 and 2020 file  photos shows logos for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control...

Marathon US hearings to decide fate of COVID shots for tots

On Wednesday, both Moderna and Pfizer will argue their case. Each company aims to offer a different dose and number of shots.
25 days ago
FILE - A vial of the Phase 3 Novavax coronavirus vaccine is seen ready for use in the trial at St. ...
LOLITA C. BALDOR Associated Press

New vaccine may be option for troops with religious concerns

At least 175 active duty and reserve service members have received the Novavax vaccine. Some have traveled overseas at their own expense to get it.
26 days ago
utah student achievement COVID-19...
Simone Seikaly

Utah student performance knocked down during COVID-19 restrictions

A review of multiple Utah student performance exams found "significant impacts" in mathematics achievement across grades.
1 month ago
COVID-19 vaccine...

Opponents of federal vaccine mandate seek rehearing

Mr. Biden issued an order Sept. 9 that more than 3.5 million federal executive branch workers undergo vaccination, with no option to get regularly tested.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
State unveils new kind of coronavirus unemployment payment