A new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is now available in Utah. This program will extend benefits to individuals, such as the self-employed or gig economy workers, who were previously ineligible for traditional unemployment benefits. Individuals who are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance will also be eligible for the $600 weekly federal stimulus program payments.
There’s a difference between the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and traditional unemployment assistance.
Individuals should apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance if they have lost income due to COVID-19 and:
- are self-employed or working in the gig economy, or
- lack sufficient work history to qualify for traditional unemployment benefits, or
- are employed by an organization exempt from unemployment taxes, such as religious institutions, or
- have been diagnosed with COVID-19, have a member of their household that has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been denied traditional unemployment benefits.
Individuals should apply for traditional unemployment benefits if they have an employer and:
- have been laid off, temporarily furloughed, or have had their hours reduced, or
- are able and available (not showing any symptoms of COVID-19), but are unable to go to work because their place of employment has been quarantined, or
- are quarantined, but not showing symptoms, and will return to work.
For more details and to apply for the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefit, visit jobs.utah.gov/covid19.
“Our priority continues to be providing Utahns the benefits they are in need of, including access to these new federal resources,” said Kevin Burt, Unemployment Insurance Division director for the Department of Workforce Services.
How do I know if I’m eligible?
See the “Am I Eligible?” feature at jobs.utah.gov/ui/home. Users can enter their Social Security number, and the website will tell them whether they are eligible for traditional unemployment benefits, or if they should apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.