Thousands of Vermonters receive their 1st PUA payments

MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Thousands of self-employed Vermonters are receiving their first PUA payments. PUA is Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

It was created by the federal stimulus package as a way to get unemployment benefits to people who don't normally qualify, like the self-employed and independent contractors.

Gov. Phil Scott says 8,500 people who filed are eligible and will be paid a total of $24 million.

Those first direct deposits were made on Wednesday but the governor concedes it's not enough.

"I know far too many, uh, have waited weeks to receive benefits, and I hope that this provides some relief for them, but I also know we still have a lot more work to do to get benefits in the hands of all eligible Vermonters and we won't stop until that's done," said Scott, R-Vermont.

People who requested paper checks should get those by the middle of next week.