Employment Documentation Required for PUA

The federal Continued Assistance Act, which extended the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA) in late December, included a new requirement that PUA claimants must provide proof of prior employment or self-employment to receive benefits. 

North Carolinians who received any PUA benefits on or after Dec. 27, 2020, are reminded to submit their documentation by the deadline in the notice they received from the Division of Employment Security (DES). 

If claimants fail to submit acceptable documentation by the deadline in their notice:

  • They will not be eligible to continue receiving PUA benefits. 
  • They may be required to pay back benefits they received since Dec. 27, 2020. 

What types of documents may be submitted? 

  • The documentation must show proof that the claimant was employed, self-employed or planning commencement of employment or self-employment at some point between the start of the previously completed tax year and the effective date of their PUA claim.

            For example, a person with a PUA claim effective Dec. 27, 2020, must submit documentation proving they were employed or self-employed between Jan. 1, 2019 (the start of the applicable tax year) and Dec. 27, 2020. 

  • Proof of employment includes, but is not limited to, W-2 forms, paycheck stubs, and earnings and leave statements showing the employer's name and address. 
  • Proof of self-employment includes, but is not limited to, state or federal tax returns, state or federal employer identification numbers, business licenses, business receipts and signed affidavits from persons verifying the individual's self-employment. 

Claimants may upload documents through the ‘My Documents’ page of their DES online account using the Notice ID on their notification from DES. Documents can also be faxed to 919-857-1296. A copy of the notification from DES should be included with the fax. 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is a federal program that provides benefits to people who are unable to work as a result of COVID-19 each week and who are not eligible for regular unemployment, such as self-employed workers and independent contractors.