TOPEKA – Kansas Secretary of Labor Delía García confirmed that Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) began accepting applications this morning. PUA is part of the CARES Act and runs from Jan. 27, 2020, through Dec. 26, 2020. If approved for PUA, you will also receive the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) additional $600 weekly payments. FPUC runs from March 29 through July 25, 2020, when you receive weekly unemployment benefits.
Under Kansas Employment Security Law, independent contractors, gig workers and the self-employed are not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. This newly created program for individuals previously not covered provides the only benefits available for these individuals. Those who may be eligible for PUA include self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers such as Uber and Lyft drivers, employees of religious organizations whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19 and those who lack sufficient work history to file a claim or have been disqualified for state benefits but who are impacted directly by COVID-19.
KDOL expects to begin paying benefits by May 25, 2020 with further enhancements made to the program as development continues and KDOL receives further guidance from the United States Department of Labor.
“KDOL has reached another milestone in our efforts to create and implement the programs in the CARES Act, providing essential benefits to hard working Kansans,” García said. “Our staff has worked diligently to get PUA and the other federal programs up and running. It’s truly amazing to see them stand up a completely new system while at the same time dealing with an unprecedented volume of regular UI claims.”