Applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) in Michigan

The Process of Applying for PUA Has Been Stressful for Many


In a time when millions of Americans have found themselves without income due to COVID-19, understanding unemployment and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is crucial for those in need. PUA differs from the usual unemployment insurance due to the current conditions of the country, being an extra safety net for those who in other cases would be ineligible to apply for aid.

Now freelance workers can apply with old tax returns and invoices which can be used in order to properly track previous income. General information needed besides your income also includes your full name, date of birth, and Social Security number.

When wondering if you are applicable for PUA, if COVID-19 impacted your ability to work or if you had to leave work to take care of a sick family member, you more than likely qualify for aid under the CARES Act. But, it’s important to check with your respective state’s unemployment office or website.


According to the website for the State of Michigan and the Labor and Economic Office, the following guidelines determine if you are able to collect PUA:

  • You are diagnosed with COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking diagnosis;
  • Have a member of the household who is diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • Are providing care for a family or household member diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • Are the primary caregiver for a child whose school or care facility closed, due to COVID-19;
  • Are unable to reach their place of employment due to an imposed quarantine, or because advised by a medical provider to self-quarantine, due to COVID-19;
  • Were scheduled to start new employment and cannot reach the workplace as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • Became the major breadwinner because the head of household died from COVID-19;
  • Quit their job as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • Had their place of employment closed as a direct result of COVID-19; or
  • Meet any additional criteria specified by U.S. Secretary of Labor.
  • Individuals are not eligible for PUA if they can telework or are receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits (regardless of meeting a category listed above).
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