Skip to Main Content

Proof of Employment Documentation Requirement for PUA Claimants - Unemployment Insurance

Congress extended the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program through the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act on December 27, 2020. As part of that new law, PUA claimants must provide proof of their employment to be eligible for the federal program. While PUA claimants were previously required to provide proof of income documentation to determine their weekly benefit amount (WBA), this new requirement to provide proof of employment documentation is a fraud prevention measure.

A link to upload this documentation will appear as an Action Item in your BEACON portal, if it has not already. If you filed your initial claim for benefits before January 31, 2021, you must provide this documentation within 90 days of receiving the action item. If you filed your initial claim for benefits after January 31, 2021, you must provide this documentation within 21 calendar days of receiving the action item. This deadline may be extended if you have a good reason why you could not provide the documentation within the time limit, such as having limited access to your BEACON portal.

The proof of employment document must demonstrate proof of employment or self-employment (or the planned commencement of employment or self-employment) at some point between the start of the previous completed tax year and the date you filed your PUA claim.

  • 2020 Claim Effective Date - If the claim effective date is in the year 2020, then the tax year is 2019. For example, an individual that filed a claim effective December 27, 2020, must submit documentation that proves employment or self-employment that occurred between January 1, 2019 (the start of the previous tax year) and December 27, 2020.
  • 2021 Claim Effective Date - If the claim effective date is in the year 2021, then the tax year is 2020. For example, an individual that filed a claim effective January 3, 2021, must submit documentation that substantiates employment or self-employment that occurred between January 1, 2020 (the start of the applicable tax year) and January 3, 2021.

Unlike the proof of income documentation requirement used to determine a claimant’s WBA, proof of employment documentation that substantiates employment or self-employment does not need to cover the entire period in which an individual was working.

Acceptable documentation to substantiate proof of employment or self-employment (or the planned commencement of employment or self-employment) includes, but is not limited to:

  • For proof of employment:
    • paycheck stubs,
    • earnings and leave statements showing the employer’s name and address, and
    • W-2 forms when available.
  • For proof of self-employment:
    • state or Federal employer identification numbers,
    • business licenses,
    • tax returns or 1099s,
    • business receipts, and
    • signed affidavits from persons verifying the individual’s self-employment.
  • For proof of employment with organizations such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and educational or religious organizations:
    • documentation provided by these organizations, and
    • signed affidavits from persons verifying the individual’s attachment to such organizations.
  • For proof that you planned to start employment:
    • letters offering employment, and
    • statements/affidavits by individuals (with name and contact information) verifying an offer of employment.
  • For proof that you planned to start self-employment:
    • business licenses,
    • state or Federal employer identification numbers,
    • written business plans, and
    • lease agreements.

Please note that even if you provided this same documentation in response to the original proof of income action item, you must reupload the document to your BEACON portal to both satisfy the proof of employment action item and the federal program requirements.

Maryland’s Division of Unemployment Insurance will review the documentation you have uploaded and determine your eligibility for PUA benefits. You may receive correspondence through your BEACON portal and through the United States Postal Service, based on your preferred method of communication.

You may also be contacted to discuss any issues concerning your proof of employment. Please ensure the telephone number, e-mail address and/or physical address that you have provided to us through your BEACON portal are accurate and up-to-date. All correspondences will also be immediately available through your BEACON portal. If you wish to receive e-mail or text message alerts when you have correspondences or Action Items in your portal, you may update your communication preference in your BEACON portal.

IF YOU KNOWINGLY GIVE FALSE INFORMATION, OR FAIL TO DISCLOSE INFORMATION, IN ORDER TO OBTAIN OR INCREASE BENEFITS, YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO REPAY THOSE BENEFITS AND WILL BE DISQUALIFIED FROM RECEIVING ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR A PERIOD OF TIME. IF YOU ARE FOUND GUILTY OF FRAUD, YOU MAY BE FINED AND/OR IMPRISONED.

If the Division determines that the documentation you provided is sufficient to substantiate your employment or self-employment (or planned commencement of employment or self-employment), you continue to meet all of the eligibility requirements of the PUA program and Maryland UI Law, and you file timely weekly claim certifications, you will continue to receive your PUA benefits as usual.

If the Division determines that the documentation you provided is NOT sufficient to substantiate your employment or self-employment (or planned commencement of employment or self-employment), you will be determined ineligible for PUA benefits and you may be required to repay some or all of any benefits you have received.