Are you out of work? California wants to help. Qualifying residents can now get a minimum of $668 per month in extra pandemic unemployment assistance from the state.\n"In the interest of speed" the Employment Development Department of California (EDD) will disperse a minimum amount of $167 per week to people after they apply, said California Labor Secretary Julie Su.\nThe Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program will begin accepting applications on April 28.\nPayments will be issued in phases that last for up to 39 weeks.\nThe provisions of the program include:\n"Up to 39 weeks of benefits starting with weeks of unemployment beginning February 2, 2020, through the week ending December 26, 2020*, depending on when you became directly impacted by the pandemic.\nAn additional $600 to each PUA weekly benefit amount you may be eligible to receive, as part of the separate CARES Act Pandemic Additional Compensation program. Only the weeks of a claim between March 29 and July 25* are eligible for the extra $600 payments."\nThis federally-funded program is for self-employed state residents and those who do not receive regular state unemployment benefits. Eligibility is limited to:\nBusiness owners\nSelf-employed individuals\nIndependent contractors\nResidents who have applied for regular unemployment insurance benefits and have collected all of them are also eligible.\nApplicants must also be able to meet at least one or more criteria. This includes but is not limited to the following:\n"You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a medical diagnosis.\nYou are unable to work because a health care provider advised you to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.\nA member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19."\nThe EDD is also encouraging self-employed individuals to apply for standard unemployment insurance.\n"If you are unsure if you are an independent contractor or an employee who could be eligible for benefits, file for regular unemployment insurance benefits and we will determine your eligibility," it says on the site.\nAdditional information on pandemic assistance during COVID-19 can be found on the Employment Development Department's website.