SACRAMENTO, Calif — As California's Employment Development Department begins the process of paying out extended weeks for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), some people are getting a confusing message about reopening their claim rather than certifying for benefits.
The bottom line is if you still had an active PUA or PEUC claim on December 26, 2020, you do not need to reopen your claim. EDD provided this guidance to Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez.
PEUC & PUA claims with remaining balances on 12/26/20
"Since Congress and the President took action to reauthorize these federal benefits, the Employment Development Department (EDD) is quickly reopening PEUC and PUA claims for those that had a balance on their claim as of December 26, 2020. These individuals who are waiting for their PEUC extension of PUA weeks to be made available starting December 27, 2020, do NOT need to re-open their claims. The EDD is working diligently through these claims to automatically make those weeks available."
EDD said it will notify people when they have weeks available to certify for ongoing benefits.
PUA claims with disqualifications:
"There is a second scenario for some individuals who have a disqualification on their PUA claim, but have an option to reopen their claim through their UI Online account. Since these claimants are not currently eligible, they should not be able to reopen and certify for benefits. Out IT Branch is currently working on a fix so that these individuals do not have the option to reopen their claims, as they are currently disqualified. However, it is important to note that despite this temporary glitch, these individuals have NOT been paid benefits."
Our Dollars and Sense team has heard mixed success from viewers who called EDD and asked them to fix their accounts so they could certify for weeks. Some people report the EDD representative was able to make the change while others were told to wait.
What if you already tried to reopen your claim?
We've heard from many people who already tried to reopen their claims. One person on Twitter asked Assemblywoman Gonzalez if people who went ahead and reopened their claims will now need to wait longer for benefits.
"They are going to have to go in and manually change it from what I understand," wrote Assemblywoman Gonzalez. "I would call your Assemblymember or Senator and explain that you re-opened and will need help."
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