Millions of employees never file for unemployment, even when they meet all of their state’s qualifications. This leads to $1000s in unclaimed unemployment money each year. But did you know that you could still file and claim your benefits for the time you were unemployed even if you already found a new job? It’s true! Retroactive unemployment is money you were supposed to receive when you were unemployed but never did.
You could have PUA back pay from becoming unemployed or from having your income reduced due to the pandemic. Learn about the requirements and find out how to get unemployment back pay in the sections below.
Depending on where you live, you may qualify for payment for past weeks of unemployment. This process is known as retroactive unemployment, which refers to payments that you should have received while you were unemployed (but didn’t).
There are many reasons why unclaimed unemployment benefits exist, but retroactive back pay helps reduce the amount of money that goes unclaimed. You could qualify for these payments at the state level, federal level or both.
At the federal level, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) back pay may allow you to file for and claim federal benefits that you were eligible for but never received. Requirements for federal benefits often differ from the requirements for state benefits.
Also, PUA is a temporary program that aims to help those most affected by the pandemic, whereas state unemployment is a more general program that can help those laid off for any reason.
Both state and federal retroactive unemployment benefit requirements change frequently as new bills are introduced. You might qualify for back pay for only a certain amount of time, which makes it even more important to see – in a timely manner – if you could have money waiting for you to claim. Keep on reading to learn how to find and access these funds.