A big portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Response and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act is increased Unemployment Benefits.
One of the biggest changes is for solopreneurs, self-employed, independent workers and gig workers. This group of workers have always been independent contractors, but they lack employees so they don’t get the other benefits from the Family First or CARES Acts.
Not an employee. Not an employing business.
At first glance, it might seem they were skipped over again.
Not so fast.
In an unprecedented move, solopreneurs now can receive unemployment insurance(UI).
That’s all part of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in the CARES Act. They will be paid ½ of the state’s average benefits + $600/week. It’s the baseline.
In order to qualify, self-employed independent contractors, gig workers and part-time employees will need to show that they have exhausted their unemployment benefits under current law and self-certify that they are unemployed, partially unemployed or unable to control their work because:
They have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 that require a medical diagnosis,
A member of their household has been diagnosed with COVID-19,
They are providing care for a family member or member of their household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19,
A member of their household for which they have primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility that has been closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and because of this closure they are unable to work,
They are unable to work because of a quarantine imposed as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency,
They are unable to work because they have been advised to self-quarantine by a health care provider,
They were scheduled to start a job but are unable to do so as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency,
They have become a “major support for a household” because the breadwinner in the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19,
They quit their job as a direct result of COVID-19.
If you’re reading this so far and think, “This could be me!”, there are a few stipulations.
If you’re able to telework with pay or have received paid sick leave or other leave, you cannot receive any Unemployment Insurance (UI) under this program. (Presumably once the paid leave runs out, you can apply.)
You can receive UI for a maximum of 39 weeks, which includes weeks that you may have received UI under regular Federal or State law.
The above all came from Section 2101. Section 2103 provides for an additional $600 per week payment, referred to as “Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation,” to recipients of unemployment insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for a period of up to four months.
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation will not count as income for purposes of determining eligibility for Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The two sections seem to be at odds as to the length of time. My best guess is that the UI will run for 39 weeks, but the extra $600 will only be for 4 months.
The states are ready for the onrush of applications and have asked that you use their website to sign up. Use the state where you last worked for the application and be patient. I suspect we’re going to see some crashing websites.
Look for “CoronaTax: Free Money. New Opportunities” out April 15, 2020. There are hundreds of new programs available for employees, former employees, business owners and real estate investors. What new life can you create with all this opportunity?
“CoronaTax” is only available at www.USTaxAid.com.