How Long After Verifying Identity To Get PUA (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 2 weeks

PUA is the shortened version of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. As the name suggests, this is a program that aims to aid those who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions worldwide have been subjected to financial problems since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

PUA is essentially an extension of the Unemployment Insurance program. The difference is that those who are self-employed, freelancers, part-time employees, and independent contractors, are eligible for PUA. People who fall under these categories did not previously receive financial help from the government, as they were ineligible for UI (unemployment insurance).

This act has helped many people who reside in the United States and continues to help.

How Long After Verifying Identity To Get PUA

How Long After Verifying Identity To Get PUA?

How Long After Verifying Identity To Get PUA?Up to 2 weeks
How long is PUA active?79 weeks (ending in September 2021)
When did PUA begin?January 27, 2020

PUA is a unique benefits program from the government as it involves those who aren’t eligible for typical benefits. This involves freelancers, part-time employees, independent contractors, and many more.

PUA was initiated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This Act went into effect after ex-President Donald Trump signed for it on March 27, 2020. The government allocated $2 trillion for this COVID-19 emergency stimulus package.

This program began on January 27, 2020. It was supposed to expire under the CARES Act on December 31, 2020. However, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was established and implemented from Dec 27, 2020, after which the PUA program was extended till March 14, 2021.

Yet again, after Joe Biden became the new president of the U.S., he established the American Rescue Plan Act, which extended PUA by 29 weeks. This Act was passed in March 2021. This time, the Act involves a stimulus package of $1.9 trillion. Thus, while PUA is under this Act, it is expected to come to an end on September 6, 2021. By this time, it would’ve completed 79 weeks in total.

Identity Verification

In order to receive the PUA benefits, you must first be deemed eligible, after you have submitted all the documents and verified your identity.

You must essentially provide proof that either you are unemployed but available to work, unable to work because of any reason regarding COVID-19, or partially employed.

Moreover, the amount you receive as benefits will be calculated according to how much you have earned previously.

Why Does It Take That Long To Get PUA After Verifying Identity?

In order to apply for PUA, you must submit information such as social security number, address, contact number, email address, birth date, income records, mailing address, and more.

In addition, you may receive a message that may tell you to verify your identity. This involves a driver’s license and other photo identification.

Once you submit all your documents, you can click ‘Submit’, and your information will reach the department in charge of PUA. This department is known as the Department of Unemployment Assistance and is in charge of reviewing your application and claim for PUA. They will verify all your documents and make a decision regarding whether or not you are eligible for PUA.

The Department of Unemployment Assistance is responsible for fact-checking your credentials and confirming them. They will ensure that you are unemployed purely because of a COVID-19 related reason.

Examples of COVID-19 related reasons for unemployment can be that you were or are diagnosed with COVID-19, or that you are caring for someone who has COVID-19, or if your family member has COVID-19, or if you are quarantined, or if the head of your household died due to COVID-19, and other reasons.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Once they notify you that you are eligible, you will start receiving PUA benefits. The amount is calculated according to your previous income. The Department uses the formula which was created for the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program, calculate your weekly benefits.

It takes up to 2 weeks to receive PUA benefits after verifying your identity because the department needs to fact-check every single document that you submit. They use this time to ensure that you are indeed eligible for PUA by checking each and every detail in the information that you have provided.


Therefore, we can understand that almost everyone can be eligible for PUA, as it is suited for anyone from part-time workers to freelancers. Those who were not eligible for UI need not worry, as they can always try out for PUA.

In order to receive PUA benefits, you can apply on the online website, by providing various documents and information such as your social security number, address, contact numbers, email address, records of income, and the documents that are required to verify your identity.

It then takes up to 2 weeks for the government to verify your identity. If you are accepted, you will begin to receive your weekly benefits.


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