Thousands of people will be getting letters from the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) ensuring Wisconsinites are aware of a new federal requirement that they must provide documentation to continue receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). The new documentation requirement is part of the federal Continued Assistance Act passed in late December and put into place under the Trump Administration.

“This is a significant change. It is another hurdle for people who qualify for these funds, but we are doing everything we can to make people aware of this requirement,” DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek said.

Under the federal Continued Assistance Act, the federal government now requires that people seeking PUA benefits must send proof of employment or self-employment (or planned start of employment or self-employment) for the year before their PUA application date. Under federal law, anyone who fails to provide proof will be required to repay any PUA benefits received on December 27, 2020, or later.

PUA provides benefits for people who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance, like those who are self-employed or certain independent contractors.

Acceptable forms of documentation meeting the new federal requirement include:

  • Employment: Paycheck stubs, earnings and leave statements showing the employer’s name and address, and W-2 forms
  • Self-employment: Business licenses, tax returns, business receipts, and signed affidavits from persons verifying the individual’s self-employment
  • Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and educational/religious organizations: Documentation provided by the organization and signed affidavits from persons verifying the individual’s attachment to such organizations
  • Proof of the planned commencement of employment: Letters offering employment, statements/ affidavits by individuals (with name and contact information) verifying an offer of employment
  • Proof of the planned commencement of self-employment: Business licenses, written business plans, or a lease agreement

To submit the required proof of employment, upload their documentation directly to their portal at https://my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov. Individuals unable to upload documents may mail or fax them, with instructions included in the notice letter they receive.

For more information on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, visit https://www.dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/pua/.

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