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US Independent Contractor Unemployment Insurance

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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)?

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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.

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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**

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

The bill only became law today. The provision for unemployment benefits that might apply to us is called "Pandemic Unemployment Assistance." It's a new federal program that might be administered by the states. Note, though:

"Pandemic Unemployment Assistance...extends benefits to gig workers, contractors and others who wouldn't otherwise qualify for unemployment compensation but cannot work due to the coronavirus emergency." (emphasis added)

 

Not all gig and contract workers work online. This relief may not be designed for us or include us.

source: NBC News 

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

Douglas Michael M wrote:

The bill only became law today. The provision for unemployment benefits that might apply to us is called "Pandemic Unemployment Assistance." It's a new federal program that might be administered by the states. Note, though:

"Pandemic Unemployment Assistance...extends benefits to gig workers, contractors and others who wouldn't otherwise qualify for unemployment compensation but cannot work due to the coronavirus emergency." (emphasis added)

 

Not all gig and contract workers work online. This relief may not be designed for us or include us.

source: NBC News 


I hadn't thought of that! I assumed that freelancers would fall under the category "can't work due to the coronavirus emergency", if only because there isn't enough work available? But you may be right.

 

 

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Active Member
Erin C Member Since: Mar 27, 2020
6 of 30

Colorado is asking we give them time as they have not received direction from the feds yet and cannot update their systems until they have them. I would check your state unemployment website am, noon and pm. Good luck and stay healthy.

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
7 of 30

Upwork is not in charge of unemployment insurance.

 

I would strongly urge any freelancers interested in this topic to talk to their government officials.

 

Is it possible that Upwork may post announcement or help pages about the topic? Yes. That is possible.

 

But no Upwork users should be trying to contact Upwork customer support about this.

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Active Member
KAREN S Member Since: Jun 7, 2019
8 of 30
I am quite aware that Upwork is NOT in charge of providing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, however, each state may,or may not, require certain verifications of IC work, which if required, Upwork will be delighted to provide this paper work if
warranted.  That was why I originally reached out to Support.


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Active Member
Kire T Member Since: Mar 26, 2019
9 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.

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Active Member
Eve S Member Since: Jul 24, 2018
10 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.

 

 

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