Unemployment Insurance for Self Employed People during this Crisis

In the face of this Pandemic the Federal Government is trying to get money to Self Employed via Unemployment Insurance. This is unprecedented and the implementation has been slow and difficult but eventually we thing it will get worked out. We expect that when it gets done Self employed people will finally get checks for at least $600 per week plus whatever their state comes up with.

We are not experts on applying for Unemployment Insurance but in this crisis we want to share some info that we have gathered on the chance it might help. We will update this as we learn more.

Generally speaking: Get on your state unemployment website and get a claim filed. The site is probably not yet set up for Self Employed but we think you should do it anyway just so your app is in the pipeline. Hopefully the states will be able to tweak their websites soon so this gets easier.

California Website:

You can file an Unemployment Insurance claim:

From the EDD website:
If you are self-employed, an independent contractor, or gig worker and are unable to work or have had your hours reduced due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits under a few different scenarios:
1. You chose to contribute to UI Elective Coverage and paid the required contributions to be considered potentially eligible for benefits.
2. Your past employer made contributions on your behalf over the past 5 to 18 months.

You may have been mis-classified as an independent contractor instead of an employee.

This is from – Item 12 at https://edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm#UIBenefits

How to handle providing your last employer:
“If you own your business or are self-employed, you should list yourself as your last employer. If you are an independent contractor, you should list yourself as your last employer. If you believe you are misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee, you should list the business you contract with as your last employer. Be sure to include: The employer name, phone number, and address. Type of work performed. Dates worked. Your gross wages and how you were paid (such as hourly or weekly). If you are a gig worker, you should list your gig employer as your last employer.”

Source – https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm

Implementation of the Extra $600 per week from the the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and other benefits:

It appears that there are steps that have to be taken before states implement these provisions ie: extra $600 per week and benefits for self employed, gig workers, etc.

It seems that agreements have to be signed and funding has to be obtained.

I am hearing that after applying people are getting letters that show the weekly benefit amount without any mention of the extra $s. It is customary for benefits to be delayed the first few weeks of a claim but then to be disbursed retroactively.

For Nevada

Nevada Updated their FAQ Page on 4/8/20 to Say:

Federal Legislation has passed that provides unemployment support for otherwise ineligible workers; including self-employed and 1099 workers. Nevada is currently working with the Federal Government to implement these programs.

If you are self-employed, 1099, or a gig worker, we ask that you DO NOT attempt to file for unemployment insurance benefits at this time.

We ask that you monitor updated information at the DETR COVID-19 Information for Claimants and Employers page for future instructions on filing for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

Source – https://detr.nv.gov/Page/COVID-19_(Coronavirus)_Information_for_Claimants_and_Employers

Some new developments 4/15/2020:
Call Center Expansion:
“The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation will open a new Unemployment Insurance call center Wednesday, April 15, 2020 to help assist claimants with general questions related to the unemployment insurance filing process.
The agency is partnering with global customer service provider Alorica to manage the inquiries and anticipates that Alorica staff scope may change based on needed support.
The call center will answer a newly established general question toll-free hotline: (800) 603-9671. Operation hours will mirror the state’s current expanded UI call center hours of Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Specific claim scenarios cannot be answered via this hotline, and those questions should be directed to the DETR phone lines.
In addition, DETR reiterated a new method for online filing system for Nevadans seeking to initiate or renew claims. This new methodology is organized by last names and is aimed at providing faster results for Nevadans seeking to gain access to unemployment benefits. The new system was announced Tuesday and will begin Sunday.
Last names A-K are asked to file on Sundays. Last names L-R are asked to file on Mondays. Last names S-Z are asked to file on Tuesday. Wednesday through Saturday are open for all to initiate or renew claims online.”

And Retroactive Backdating:
Gov. Steve Sisolak says that he has ordered Nevada’s unemployment insurance agency to pay out claims retroactively — to as early as March 15 — as claimants struggle to get through in a system overwhelmed by unprecedented job losses.

Federal $600 Payments”
Sisolak also said the Department of Training, Employment and Rehabilitation (DETR) will begin issuing additional weekly payments of $600 in “Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation” to those currently receiving unemployment benefits, making Nevada one of the first states to do so. The additional funds could start showing up for beneficiaries as soon as tomorrow.

A Story in the Nevada Independent with an update:
On April 14 DETR said they are “doing our very best to fast track the system” for processing those kinds of new unemployment insurance claims, but that a module to distribute the funds to gig workers would likely not be ready for applicants until sometime in early or mid May.
She said workers in this category are asked to wait for more news on the program and NOT attempt to apply now for the benefits.
Source – https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/the-indy-explains-whats-happening-with-nevada-unemployment-insurance

This page explains how to work thru the process to skip the work search requirement – https://cms.detr.nv.gov/Content/Media/Bypass_Work_Search.pdf

This page has Covid – CARES Act info. – https://detr.nv.gov/Page/COVID-19_(Coronavirus)_Information_for_Claimants_and_Employers

Here is a page with videos on how to apply – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKU0G2uxOM7AwxvSH-GyeQAgiwxHFzEdF

We will update this post as more becomes available
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Last Updated – 4/16/2020