Unemployment Benefits Available For Self-Employed People

There are now unemployment benefits available for self-employed people in California.  If you earn 1099 wages, which means that you are a contractor, a business-owner, or are self-employed, you may now apply for unemployment benefits under a new program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.  You may apply for those benefits here.  Previously, you had to be a a laid-off employee in order to apply for and  collect unemployment benefits.  Now, if you are any type of self-employed person, which includes contractors, business owners, and gig workers like Uber & Lyft drivers, you may apply for and receive these benefits.

If your paycheck does not have a pay stub showing payroll deductions, or if taxes are not ever deducted from your pay, you are almost certainly some type of self-employed person.  In the large stimulus package, an extra $600/week will be added to your unemployment benefits.  However, the additional $600 a week federal benefit will only apply to claims from March 29 through July 31, 2020.

If you have lost your income, you should immediately apply for unemployment benefits.  If you are some type of self-employed person, you may now apply for these benefits just as employees have been able to do.