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US Independent Contractor Unemployment Insurance

karens
Active Member
KAREN S Member Since: Jun 7, 2019
1 of 30

Anyone know the procedure for filing for Unemployment Insurance as an Upwork Freelancer (US)?

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
2 of 30

Nobody knows yet. They just passed the bill today (and it still has to be signed into law by the President). This is the first time freelancers and self-employed people have been eligible for unemployment benefits, so I expect it's gonna take a minute for the states to figure out how to handle it.

karens
Active Member
KAREN S Member Since: Jun 7, 2019
3 of 30

I had spoken with an Upwork Representative earlier and the following is what I received:

**Edited for community guidelines**

kire_t
Ace Contributor
Kire T Member Since: Mar 26, 2019
4 of 30

I am wanting to apply for unemployment due to COVID-19; however, I know none of the freelancers on the site are actually employees of Upwork. I work solely on Upwork and work has slowed down a lot for me. I have also had clients cancel or place contracts on hold because of the outbreak. Which means I haven't made any money within the past 2 weeks.

 

We also aren't self-employed, so I can't even say I qualify for the stimulus package that way. Can anyone tell me the benefits of applying in the first place if we only work as freelancers? It feels like we're just doomed and being penalized for not being W-2 workers. I could be wrong, but any information you guys have would help.

wellcomeve
Active Member
Eve S Member Since: Jul 24, 2018
5 of 30

COVID-19 relief is much better now.  Praise your elected officials for understanding that all kinds of workers got laid off and need help.  Go the Unemployment Insurance website for your state. Be ready to show how much you earned (gross income) -- in California they ask how much gross income you earned each quarter for the past 18 months. For Jan/Feb/March 2020 you would just show Jan/Feb and explain if needed that March is $0.

 

If you file a Schedule C with IRS 1040, you are "self employed" -- same if you are an independent contractor.

 

 

researchediting
Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
6 of 30

The best strategy may vary from state to state. In Connecticut, for example, there is an argument for submitting a regular claim, even as they have announced they will have to reprogram their system to accommodate the federal funds. I filed based on my sole outstanding contract's being explicitly suspended by the client because of COVID-related suspension of their field research.

vladag
Community Manager
Vladimir G Community Manager Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
7 of 30

Hi Kire,

 

We see Eve responded to your questions and shared her advice (thanks Eve!).

 

For Kire and Karen,

 

While we can't advise on your questions, we wanted to share that Upwork is a founding partner of the Freelancers Relief Fund, run by the Freelancers Union’s nonprofit subsidiary, Working Today, to assist independent workers in the U.S. experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The immediate goal is to raise $500,000 to provide small grants and other assistance for freelancers experiencing hardship. The fund is open to all freelancers in the U.S., with relief targeted toward helping freelancers pay for essential personal expenses including groceries, rent, and other household bills. The fund offers financial assistance of up to $1,000 per freelance household to cover lost income and essential personal expenses not covered by government relief programs, including food, utility payments, and cash assistance to cover income loss. To learn more visit https://www.freelancersunion.org/resources/freelancers-relief-fund/

Untitled
petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
8 of 30

Vladimir G wrote:

.....The fund is open to all freelancers in the U.S.


That's nice Smiley Happy So much for global platform. Upwork's global freelancers made the platform what it is today.... 

 

I'm pretty much speechless.

karens
Active Member
KAREN S Member Since: Jun 7, 2019
9 of 30
Yet, based on each State's UI office specifications and requirements.
For instance, my State's UI office is currently "requesting additional guidance from
the USDOL before implementing".

feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
10 of 30

Petra R wrote:

Vladimir G wrote:

.....The fund is open to all freelancers in the U.S.


That's nice Smiley Happy So much for global platform. Upwork's global freelancers made the platform what it is today.... 

 

I'm pretty much speechless.


I agree that it if Upwork is going to provide any assistance, it would be nice if it were available to all of their freelancers. It sounds like American freelancers are going to receive financial assistance anyway, so people in other countries might be much more in need of help.

 

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