State Not Accepting Gig, Self-Employed Worker (PUA) Applications For Weeks Due To Fraud Concerns

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recently passed by Congress and signed into law By President Trump on March 27th provides unemployment assistance to independent contractors and those self-employed who have been affected by the Coronavirus.

Most state’s unemployment systems determine eligibility and process payments for workers whose wages are reported by their employers and verified through the Division of Unemployment Insurance (DUI). In order to begin processing claims for this new category of eligible individuals and prevent fraud, abuse and identity theft, the Federal US Department of Labor requires that states design new systems to pay benefits to independent contractors/self-employed and ensure the validity of their claims.

Delaware Department of Labor (DOL) is currently working with a vendor to design and test new technologies that will integrate with their existing benefits claims system. This technology will allow the Division of Unemployment Insurance (DUI) to verify earnings reported to the IRS and determine the eligibility of independent contractors and the self-employed to apply for benefits under the (CARES) Act.

The Department anticipates that these workers will be able to apply through this new system within 3-6 weeks. The Department said they will provide more details regarding the implementation and how to apply on their website next week.

“The hardship that the coronavirus pandemic has placed on Delaware workers is unprecedented. These workers will receive the much-needed assistance provided to them under the CARES Act. We are working around the clock to make that happen; Hopefully, ahead of schedule” said Cerron Cade, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Labor.

Once the system is ready to receive applications from those who are self-employed or are independent contractors, DOL will require specific documentation available at the time you submit your application online. The documents you will need are as follows:

Driver license or State issued Identification
Your last year’s income tax statement or quarterly earnings statement
State of Delaware Business License number
Current bank account number and routing number
To date, DOL has processed and paid 70% of initial claims for benefits submitted to their offices since March 1st and is currently paying more than $30 million in benefits to affected workers each week. The agency has received more than 60,000 claims in 4 weeks; nearly double the total number of claims received in 2019.

Additional resources are available on their websites at or You can also call their offices at 302-761-8446. Call hold time is longer than usual. For a quicker response please email [email protected]. Include your full name, including middle initial, contact information and claim number.

To process an initial claim for unemployment benefits your asked visit

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at [email protected].

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