USDOL clarifies PUA retroactivity

Jan 17, 2022
USDOL clarifies PUA retroactivity

At the last “Kilili Q&A,” a constituent asked whether CW-1 workers could apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation retroactively, if they were previously denied. I wanted to get clear guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor on this technical question before answering; and, now, I have that answer. According to the Department, CW-1 workers are eligible for PUA and FPUC only for claims filed after December 27, 2020, the effective date that CW-1 workers became eligible for PUA as a result of the CARES Act amendment I included in U.S. Public Law 116-260. CW-1 workers are not eligible for PUA before that date.

In addition, the Commonwealth was required to accept new PUA applications for 30 days after September 6, 2021, which was the expiration date for the CARES Act unemployment assistance programs. The Commonwealth may, however, choose to accept PUA applications even after that date. The question arose because of the so-call Marianas (kk) expansion, the updated eligibility criteria and self-certification option that President Biden put in place for individuals who had previously been denied assistance. The Commonwealth was required by the U.S. Department of Labor to notify such individuals of the updated criteria and the option to self-certify eligibility to receive previously denied PUA claims.