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Pandemic Unemployment requires extra step each week

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Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants have to answer more questions each week in a procedural change.

During the weekly claim procedure, the Employment Security Department (ESD) asks each claimant a series of questions designed to determine the claimant's qualifications for benefits. People qualifying for PUA will see new questions each week.

These questions are required by the CARES Act to determine whether the employment status of the claimant is connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you no longer qualify for PUA, you may be eligible to reapply for regular unemployment benefits.

Each of the questions pertain only to the week that you are claiming and may vary.

COVID-19 specific questions

1.Did your place of employment close as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency?

2.Are you an independent contractor or self-employed individual, and has the COVID-19 public health emergency severely limited your ability to do your customary work activities?

3.Are you unable to work from home or anywhere because you are the main caregiver to a child or household member who needs your constant and ongoing care; and they cannot attend school, daycare or other facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency?

4.Are you unable to reach your place of employment because of quarantine imposed by a state or municipal order restricting travel as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency?

5.Are you unable to reach your place of work because you have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19?

6.Were you scheduled to start a job in Washington state but no longer have the job or are unable to reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency?

7.Did you have to quit as a direct result of COVID-19?

8.Were you diagnosed with COVID-19?

9.Do you have symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a medical diagnosis?

10.Has an individual in your household been diagnosed with COVID-19?

11.Are you providing constant and ongoing care for a family member or household member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?

12.Did you become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of household died as a direct result of COVID-19?

13.Can you telework (work remotely or from home) this week for your usual number of hours with pay during the COVID-19 public health emergency?

PUA Private income
1.Did you apply for or receive any private income protection insurance (such as AFLAC) or supplemental unemployment benefits for the week?

Existing claim in another state or with the railroad
1."Have you applied for or received unemployment benefits from another state or the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board in the last 12 months?"

If you submit your PUA weekly claim electronically using eServices, you can answer these eligibility questions online. If you submit your claim using our automated phone system, they will send you a questionnaire that you must fill out and return immediately. They may pay your benefits conditionally while they are waiting for your response, but if they do not receive your answers to the questionnaire, you will have to pay them back.

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