Here’s what you should know about the WA PUA pandemic relief payments

SPOKANE, Wash.– The State of Washington is using $54 million dollars of federal CARES Act money to provide one-time payments for some recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.

On Sunday, Governor Jay Inslee announced the help as a way to bridge the gap created when President Donald Trump neglected to sign the federal COVID-19 relief bill before a Saturday night deadline. The president did sign the bill Sunday, but the delay created a one week gap in PUA benefits for 94,555 Washington residents, according to Gov. Inslee.

According to the Employment Security Department (ESD), emergency payments will be issued to all PUA claimants who:

  • Submitted a PUA claim for the week ending Nov. 21, 2020, and
  • Were paid for that week on or before Dec. 24.

The payment will total $550 per claimant, which equals two weeks of benefits for most PUA recipients, according to the ESD website.

The ESD says online that you will not get the payment if:

  • ESD shows a pending issue with your claim.
  • You are a recipient of regular unemployment benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) or Extended Benefits (EB).

ESD said it will begin to send money to approved claimants on or about December 30, 2020. Eligible claimants should receive the payment sometime during the first week of January, depending on their bank or credit union.

ESD is asking that you do not call the unemployment claims center to ask about the payment because they’re dealing with a high volume of calls. If you don’t receive the payment, it means you are not eligible, according to a post by ESD.

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