This article was last updated on January 29
This article was updated following Enhanced UI extensions and $300 FPUC Payments from December 27th, 2020 to March 14th, 2021. The legislation for the 2021 UI extensions limited back dating for new or initial claims to December 1st, 2020 and the extra 11 weeks of funding for PUA and $300 FPUC weekly supplementary payments would only be over the extension period. I have updated the example to reflect this.
Anthony posted this comment following his recent eligibility for PUA, “Hi guys I just found out about the PUA. I filed for regular unemployment and was denied. I got a email stating that I was eligible for the PUA and today was my first day to claim it. I claimed for 2 weeks no problem. My question is about the $300 enhanced unemployment (FPUC) and if I get back pay from the date I lost my job or do I just start getting the 300 from the week that I filed?
The answer to this question may vary depending on the state in which you claim unemployment, but generally speaking and while the PUA and FPUC programs are subject to different timelines, if you qualified for the PUA program between when the extra $300 FPUC or $600 FPUC were available, you would be eligible for the supplementary weekly benefit which is payable during these period. This includes backdated payments for coverage weeks you were eligible for PUA due to COVID-19 related reasons. The $600 FPUC, originally funded under the CARES act, was available from Mid-March 2020 to the end of July 2020. The more recent $300 FPUC is available between the week ending December 27th, 2002 and March 14th, 2021.
Because you can only get the supplementary FPUC payment while you are getting some form other other unemployment (E.g. PUA) and you need to certify weekly for enhanced unemployment benefits, you can only go back to the date you filed your claim. This should in most cases be backdated to when you lost your job, because one week waiting periods have been waived to get the pandemic unemployment benefits.
In most states retroactive PUA and FPUC payments will be paid in one lump-sum one to two weeks after you are deemed eligible for benefits. If you only recently became eligible for the PUA program, you may receive you FPUC payment separately the week after your first PUA payment.
You should get a formal PUA benefits determination letter or award notice from your state unemployment agency stating the weekly benefit amount and backdated payments you are eligible for. Please pay attention to additional information that may need to be provided or certification steps to be undertaken to actually get the unemployment benefit paid/processed.
In many states, like New Jersey, unemployed workers must explicitly certify for their PUA claim for past weeks, even if they previously certified their regular unemployment claim for the same week. In other words, because PUA claims are processed separately from regular unemployment claims in several states, certifying information must be completed separately.
New or Initial PUA claims filed after December 27th (when new funding was made available) can only be backdated to December 1st, 2020 or to the first week you were unemployed due to COVID-19, whichever of the two dates is later.
Existing PUA applications that were filed in 2020 would be subject to the CARES provisions and can be back dates to January 2020 (when the original PUA program started).