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CARES Act - Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
PUA claims are now being taken.
PUA provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees and gig economy workers, as well as to individuals working part-time, or who otherwise would not qualify for regular UC or EB under state or federal law or PEUC. Learn more about PUA.
To see which program you may be eligible for, please see our Eligibility Checker.
Our Unemployment Provisions for Workers Affected by COVID-19 Flowchart outlines what you need to know and do under the CARES Act.
PUA Application Process
Step 1: You may file your initial claim online or by phone to determine your eligibility for state unemployment benefits or PUA benefits.
Step 2: After filing an initial claim, self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees, gig economy workers, or individuals working part-time, or those who otherwise would not qualify for regular UC or EB under state or federal law may immediately upload any of the required documents showing proof of earnings to the PUA Uploader.
If you are unable to upload documents, you can instead mail copies of PUA documents. Include your name, contact information, and confirmation number and mail to:
South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation
Reemployment Assistance Division, PUA Claims
P.O. Box 4730
Aberdeen, SD 57402-4730
Step 1: File a Claim Online
To begin the PUA application process, please log in and file a claim to determine your eligibility for state unemployment benefits or PUA benefits. Everyone must start by filing this claim.
First-time claimants, STOP! Before filing your first claim, read important tips to prevent the delay of your benefits.
Step 2: Uploading documents for PUA
After filing an initial claim, self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees, gig economy workers, or individuals working part-time, or those who otherwise would not qualify for regular UC or EB under state or federal law may immediately upload any of the required documents showing proof of earnings to the PUA Uploader.
Documents Needed:You will need to provide proof of wages when you submit your Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) application. This can be done by attaching any of the following documents.
Proof of earnings can be shown with the submission any of the following documents.
If you worked in 2019, please provide at least one of the following:
- 2019 Federal Tax Return (preferable)
- 2019 1099 - Miscellaneous Income Only
- 2019 W-2
- Final pay stub in 2019
Note: If you're unable to provide proof of your 2019 wages, you will only be allowed the minimum PUA benefit payment of $172. If and when you provide your proof of earnings for 2019, your claim will be redetermined. If it results in a higher amount, adjusted payments will be issued to you.
After you have uploaded, you will see a confirmation number in green in the lower left corner of the screen.
What Happens Next
After you file for benefits you will receive in the mail:
- A Monetary Determination of Benefits showing what your weekly benefit amount will be and your total amount of benefits, if you are monetarily eligible.
- A Claimant Checklist with instructions on how and when to file a weekly request for payment.
- The Facts About Reemployment Assistance Benefits handbook (Adobe PDF format) with instructions and answers to many of your questions. You’re responsible for knowing the requirements and following the rules.
Watch for and read any information we send to you. The information may be time sensitive and affect your eligibility for benefits.
Once you have filed your claim, it will be reviewed to determine if your circumstances meet the eligibility requirements of the Reemployment Assistance program. The information you provide is verified to ensure only those entitled to benefits receive them. It is important to always give complete and true information. Misrepresenting or knowingly withholding information is considered fraud. If you commit fraud you may be denied benefits for future weeks, be required to pay back benefits you received, and be subject to additional penalties.
You will receive a final eligibility determination by mail within 21 days of receiving your Monetary Determination.
File a Weekly Request for Payment
You must file a weekly request for payment each week to receive benefits.
The claim week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday at midnight. You cannot request your weekly payment until the week is over. Many claimants are trying to file too soon. Remember, your request is for the previous week. See our Weekly Request for Payment page for more information.
For claimants filing for PUA, please report any NET income for the week. For claimants filing for regular state reemployment assistance, please file GROSS income.
It is your responsibility to give accurate answers to any questions asked in regard to your initial claim and weekly requests for PUA benefits. Failure to furnish requested documents or information might result in benefits being delayed or denied.
All information is subject to verification. PUA benefits are provided through federal funds. Criminal and/or civil penalties for violation of federal and/or state laws will be enforced for willfully making false statement or concealing information to obtain or increase your Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.