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The new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefit for self-employed individuals.

The PUA program will provide payments for weeks of unemployment beginning on or after January 27th and ending on or before December 31st, 2020 for a maximum of 39 weeks.  The benefit amount will be equal to the weekly benefit amount as calculated under state law based on recent earnings, the same way regular UI benefits are calculated.

Under Minnesota law, the benefits paid to regular UI recipients are based on the amount of earnings (gross wages) paid to a worker from all covered employers during a recent 52-week period of time.  This is called your base period.  It is defined as follows:

If you apply in the first month of a calendar quarter (January, April, July, October), your base period is the first four of the most recently completed five quarters.

If you apply in the second or third months of a calendar quarter (February, March, May, June, August, September, November, December), we look at the first four of the most recently completed five quarters. We also look at the most recently completed four quarters. We then pick the period of time that has the most wages.

Self-employed individuals will be asked to provide proof of income documents, such as 2019 1099s and 2019 income tax return documents, to establish their earnings record for this same period of time (the first four of the most recently completed five quarters).

The Minnesota UI Program has compiled a step-by-step guide to the application process for self-employed individuals.  It is available at:


You will note that the process asks for employment and pay information for a 15-month time period (October 2018 through the date of application).  Applicants that meet the minimum earnings requirement ($3,000) during this base period to establish an account will also be able to receive the additional $600 per week payment.

Once you have completed the application for benefits, you will need to wait for MN UI program staff to finish the implementation process for this new benefit.  Applicants will receive additional instructions through their online account about their PUA benefit payments.  You can also look for updates at:


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