As part of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program (known as PUA), Congress and the United States Department of Labor require that PUA program participants provide the Vermont Department of Labor with proper documentation to support program eligibility.
ALL claimants who received PUA benefits in calendar year 2021 are require to provide this documentation to “substantiating employment or self-employment, or the planned commencement of employment or self-employment.”
The Department is currently reviewing PUA claims that were filed to determine whether this documentation has already been provided. If documentation has not been provided, Department staff are reaching out to individuals to gather this information.
Types of Acceptable Documentation
There is no specific document that must be provided. In general, you must provide document(s) that support the fact that you were employed or self-employed prior to needing to file for PUA benefits.
If you were an employee, this could include paycheck stubs, earnings and leave statements showing the employer’s name and address, and W-2 forms when available.
If you were self-employer (including an independent contractor), this could include state or Federal employer identification numbers, business licenses, tax returns, business receipts, and signed affidavits from persons verifying the individual’s self-employment. This could also include letters offering employment, statements/affidavits by individuals (with name and contact information) verifying an offer of employment.
Proof of the planned commencement of self-employment includes, but is not limited to, business licenses, state or Federal employer identification numbers, written business plans, or a lease agreement.
What Happens If I Fail to Provide Documentation?
In the event you have not provided documentation and you do not respond to the Department’s requests for information, YOU WILL BE PLACED INTO OVERPAYMENT FOR ALL BENEFITS RECEIVED IN CALENDAR YEAR 2021.
Under the rules provided by Congress and the United States Department of Labor, we are required to place you in overpayment for the amount of benefits receive in calendar year 2021 if you fail to provide the Department with appropriate documentation or you fail to respond to the Department’s requests for information.
This could lead to collections action, offset of future UI benefits, collection of your State or federal tax return, legal action, and future garnishment of wages.
The Department is working diligently to ensure that you can provide the appropriate information, but we are required to take the above steps in the event you refuse to cooperate.