How the Bill Passed by Congress on March 11 affects PUA
The President signed American Rescue Plan on March 11, 2021.
Here’s how it affects PUA:
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) now runs through the week ending September 4, 2021.
How do I get the extension?
Continue filing your weekly certifications. You should see the additional money show up soon in your account balance. We expect delays, but the new funds should automatically be added to your account.
Will I still get the $300 extra each week?
Yes, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) program will continue to provide an extra $300 per week until the week ending September 4, 2021. All you need to do is continue filing your weekly certifications to receive these extra benefits. They will be paid at the same time as your weekly PUA benefits.
Do my PUA benefits count as taxable income for 2020?
Yes, you do have to report your PUA benefits as earned income when you file taxes. You will get a 1099-G form in the mail that lists your income from PUA, PUC, and the Lost Wage Assistance program from the end of the summer (the previous extra $300 per week). Now, under the American Rescue Plan, the federal government will forgive income taxes on up to $10,200 in benefits per person, as long as your gross income was less than $150,000. That means if you and a spouse both collected unemployment benefits, the government will forgive taxes on up to $20,400.
Philadelphia residents can have their taxes filed for free through the Campaign for Working Families. Visit their website here.
What if I’ve already filed my taxes?
You can find an amended return to claim the $10,200 exemption, but we recommend waiting until the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gives more guidance on what to do if you’ve already filed your taxes and need to amend your return. We recommend reaching out to a free tax site for help with your taxes through the Campaign for Working Families here.
Should I wait to file my taxes?
We recommend waiting to file your taxes until after the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued more guidance about how to get the tax forgiveness for up to $10,200 in unemployment benefits when filing your taxes.
Where can I find more information on regular Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance?
For current and accurate information about Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, check out UCHelp.org. This is a new online resource for Pennsylvania workers created by Philadelphia Legal Assistance.