Unemployment for Freelancers & Small Business Owners

EDIT (April 2, 2020): Although the claim is the funds will be deposited within 3 business days, with so many American's applying for these loans, there is expectedly a delay with this.

Sate unemployment sites may not reflect that Freelancers/Small Business Owners can apply for UI, but that is just because sites are still being updated with this information. Again, things are happening so quickly and in mass amounts, updates can only happen so quickly. You still need to apply and when you speak with a representative let them know you are a Freelancer/Small Business owner so they can make that adjustment in their internal system.


As of March 27th, it's finally clear now that independent contractors, freelancers and small business owners are eligible for unemployment insurance (UI). You will receive 'normal' UI benefits based on your income plus an additional $600 per week from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). All UI benefits are paid on a weekly basis and normally you can only collect UI for a certain amount of time (I'm not sure if it varies from state to state, but in NM it's 1 year), but whatever your time frame is, it has been extended an additional 13 weeks.

>> There are requirements you have to meet, but at least one, if not

more, literally apply to all of us. I don't even know why they

added these requirements in the Act <<

Obviously, UI centers are incredibly overwhelmed right now, last week it was reported that 3.3 million American's had applied for UI benefits. So if it takes you a while to apply, speak with someone, and be approved, you will get retro pay from the date you lost work. Whereas normally UI eligibility doesn't begin until the day you actually apply and then there is an additional 'waiting' week (the waiting week also does not apply in this situation).

From what I gather most states, if not all, are requiring you to call in and speak with someone in addition to completing the online application. It also appears that everyone is assigned a call-in day based on the last number of your social security number. You will find your day on your states UI website. (Ex. Social's ending with 4 call in on Tuesday)

The amount of 'regular' UI benefits (not the additional $600) is a percentage of your prior income. Again, I do believe the percentage varies by state, but regardless of what that is, everyone will get the additional $600/week - there is no percentage or anything applied to that. For some, you may actually be making more money with both of these benefits.

For us, my husband's work has closed so he already has to apply but I wasn't going to. I am now rethinking that as someone made a good point on a FB thread I ran across, which was, we truly have no idea how long this will last so just because you may be in a good situation right now, doesn't mean it will continue to stay that way. So, I do urge you to apply.

This is not legal advice and is educational only, so please do your own research on your state's unemployment website and ask all of the questions you can once you speak directly with a representative.

But, please let me know if I can help in any way! I have free consultations available and no topic is off limits. Business registration, compliance, business/personal banking and loans, invoicing, client payments - anything. You will not hear any sales pitch from me, I am just offering any support and guidance that I can. Feel free to schedule a call and let me help you the best I can!

Please take care and be well!!


Your Compliance Bestie

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