Updated: March 30, 2020
Unemployment Benefits for Self-Employed Workers
Can you collect unemployment if you are working as a freelancer, independent contractor, or self-employed individual running your own business?
The answer is NOW yes!
Pre Covid-19, self-employed workers, independent contractors, and freelance workers who lose their income are not eligible for unemployment benefits. However, the federal government is expanding benefits to cover self-employed individuals and gig workers. Legislation has been approved, information on how to qualify and collect benefits are available below. 
If you are unemployed, laid off, or a freelancer (sole-proprietor or single-member LLC) out of work, here’s what’s new:
Eligibility for unemployment insurance extended for all workers, not just full-time employees.
The federal government will provide an extra $600 per week for up to 4 months on top of your state’s current state unemployment benefits.
State unemployment benefits range from $200 to $550 per week on average and collected between 12 and 28 weeks.
For more information about filing for self employed unemployment benefits, check this unemployment benefits finder. 👇🏻
The federal and state governments are expanding sick leave and unemployment benefits and working on legislation to help impacted independent workers.
The EDD provides services to people and businesses affected by disasters in California.
If you lost your job or cannot work because of a disaster or emergency, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI), Disability Insurance (DI), or Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits.
It’s been authorized by the President of the United States, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available for workers and self-employed people who do not qualify for regular UI benefits. 
For current state-declared disasters, visit EDD Disaster-Related Services.
Eligibility varies from state to state, so if you’re not sure whether you’re eligible, check with your state unemployment office to find information about who can collect unemployment compensation, and how to go about filing a claim. When you become unemployed, it’s a good idea to check if you may be eligible for benefits right away. It can take time to begin receiving benefits if you do qualify, so you should file your claim as soon as possible.
If you are a small business owner, here’s what’s new:
• Emergency grants of up to $10,000
• Short-term forgiveness on new loans of up to $10 million
• A payroll tax credit to help retain employees
Apply here 👇🏻
The Self-Employment Assistance Program is a federal government-endorsed program which offers unemployed or displaced workers in some states unemployment benefits when they are starting a business. The Self-Employment Assistance program pays a displaced worker an allowance, instead of regular unemployment insurance benefits, to help keep them afloat while they are establishing a business and becoming self-employed. 
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides a refundable tax credit for eligible self-employed individuals who must self-quarantine, obtain a diagnosis, or comply with a self-isolation recommendation for coronavirus.
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