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COVID-19 End of Week Update + Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) 4/26/20

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to rise, we collectively grieve as a society for those we've lost. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost someone to this insidious virus, including our U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and now at least five of my colleagues in the MA House of Representatives.

While our hearts are heavy with sadness, simultaneously, they're also filled with gratitude for our health care professionals and first responders on the front lines, and to all who are working to ensure we have access to food and other essentials.

Please continue to rely on trusted sources and practice physical distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. As we continue to administer more tests around the city and the commonwealth, I encourage you to keep the faith and remember people can and do recover. For instance, our own Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel is back to work after recovering from the virus.

Finally, as the Governor said on Saturday, any decision made about reopening businesses will first require a drop in people being hospitalized for the disease and "some evidence that we’re over the hump" with respect to the surge, and secondly, that we have rules for engagement and reopening in place, which we’ll talk more about next week.

To those who celebrate, have a blessed Ramadan.


Liz Malia

State Representative, 11th Suffolk

P.S. Help support contact tracing efforts and answer calls with 833 or 857 area codes from the MA COVIDTeam.

To read the Commonwealth’s Command Center Daily Updates:

How to Help Out

If you're healthy and up to it, please consider donating blood. Appointments are required and you can find the nearest drive here. Additionally, your local knowledge, suggestions of sites, and potential partners are crucial to meeting the needs of our neighbors who need blood and blood products. To schedule a new blood drive contact Bill Forsyth at 617-699-3808 or at email

Helpful Links

Need help but don't know where to start? For all the immediate resources in your area:

State Updates

4/20 - Pandemic Unemployment Assistance application portal became live (10 days ahead of schedule)

This federal unemployment program (under the CARES Act) is for individuals who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and others who would not ordinarily qualify for unemployment benefits. *If you didn’t make (via W2) $5,100 in the last 15 weeks, you should apply.*

Applicants will need to provide the following information:

Your social security number

If you are not a citizen of the United States, your A Number (USCIS Number)

Your residential address

Your mailing address (if different from residential address)

Your telephone number

Your email address

Your birth date

Your wage records for 2019, which includes:

1099 forms

Pay stubs

Bank statements

The social security number(s) and date(s) of birth for your dependent child(ren)

If you want to use direct deposit for payment, your bank account and routing numbers

For more information on eligibility, please view the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Guide.

The program will provide up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. Once claims are filed, processed, and individuals are deemed eligible, benefits will be paid retroactively beginning February 2, 2020, or the first week a claimant was unable to work as a result of COVID-19, whichever date is later. The last week this benefit is payable is the week ending December 26, 2020.

* People traditionally ineligible for unemployment benefits may be self-employed, gig workers, or independent contractors. Other examples include earning less than $5100 in the last year, or having no right to regular unemployment, either because you were denied, or you worked for a religious organization.

** This group may qualify for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation at a later date (in a couple of weeks once the DUA receives federal guidance to be able to set it up). That’s the 13 week extension for people who were previously collecting unemployment but have used up all of their benefits, or whose benefit year ended after July 1, 2019. For more information visit

Filing for UI benefits by phone is based on the last digit of your Social Security Number.

0,1 file on Monday | 2,3 file on Tuesday | 4,5,6 file on Wednesday | 7,8,9 file on Thursday | Any digit file on Friday