If you applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) but aren’t getting your payments, you might have been flagged for suspected fraud and need to verify your identity.

To find out if you need to do this, follow these instructions from Philadelphia Legal Assistance.

  1. Log on to your online PUA dashboard and go to “My Messages.”

  2. If you see a message that says, “Verify your identity to access your PA Pandemic Unemployment Assistance,” click it, and follow the instructions. You’ll have to create an account on a site called ID.me and complete a series of tasks to verify your identity. You either have to answer questions about your credit history or upload photos of a photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s license.

  3. Your benefits should be released in 24 to 48 hours if there are no other holds on your account.

  4. If you have issues with ID.me, you can click “verify identity on a video call” to talk to a live representative.

Watch this video by Philadelphia Legal Assistance, which has instructions and screenshots.

If that’s doesn’t fix your problem:

The PUA program is scheduled to end Dec. 26, which means that claims filed after that date will not be paid. But if you’re still waiting for benefits that you filed claims for before then, you should still be able to get them, even after Dec. 26. Don’t give up, Community Legal Services litigation director Sharon Dietrich says.

For Context
After suspecting fraud in the PUA program, Pennsylvania's Department of Labor and Industry began requiring claimants to verify their identity to get benefits. This led to some claimants waiting months for their benefits.

As of early December, just 12% of the claimants asked to verify their identities had done so. While the state believes the rest are "likely" fraudsters, legal aid organizations say some claimants have missed or misunderstood the message to verify their identity.

The Philadelphia Inquirer is one of 21 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push toward economic justice. See all of our reporting at brokeinphilly.org.