Independent Contractor Unemployment Insurance - Federal CARES Act

I thought I'd start a thread for us to share information in one place on our experiences and questions filing. Please remember to list your State.

In California so far I find this. There is info on misclassified employees but no update on the Federal $.
[www.edd.ca.gov]
and
[www.edd.ca.gov]
(EDD Disaster-Related Services shows no Federal assistance available at this time for COVID-19)

Has anyone in California tried to apply? Did you list all the companies you did jobs for and their addresses on the application? That will be 15+ for me and I don't know the addresses for the smaller companies like DJ's.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/2020 03:00PM by wwin.

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I applied yesterday. Basically you fill out a questionnaire online and then they mail you the actual paperwork. It takes about 10 days to get the paperwork.

I live in California.
I applied a couple of days ago. I didn't have to fill out any company information but I imagine that be included with the paperwork.
Article in today's Washington Post says that most states have a way to go before their systems will accept applications from ICs. So, if you apply now and get told that you are not eligible, keep a lookout for when the site shows that they have upgraded the system to process valid IC claims. This could take weeks!

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Do you have a link to the questionnaire or how to access it?

@whiterosie wrote:

I applied yesterday. Basically you fill out a questionnaire online and then they mail you the actual paperwork. It takes about 10 days to get the paperwork.

I live in California.
Nothing in Michigan yet other than a denial of my initial claim due to no earnings reported with a follow up email that I will likely be eligible for pandemic money based on the denial and I don't have to do anything further.
I tried to fill out the online form from the link but they wanted employer information. The site seems to think I worked for Martiz in the last 18 months but that's not true since I have a 1099 from them not W-2. I think I'll wait before going further in the application.

"Provide the legal name or Doing Business As (DBA) name of the employer that you worked for most recently regardless of the length of time you worked for that employer or whether or not you have been paid. If you worked today, you should indicate the name of the employer you worked for today.

SELF-EMPLOYED or INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR: Self-employment or independent contractor cannot be listed as last employer. Provide your last W-2 employer."
Obviously that state is not ready for CARES IC filings. Wait until the get forms set up for ICs, is my advice. Apparently, no state has actually done that yet.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
As part of the recently passed $2T stimulus package, unemployment benefits will be extended for four months to independent contractors and self-employed persons such as mystery shoppers. Some of the typical state unemployment benefits requirements (having been separated from an employer through no fault of your own; weekly reporting; mandatory minimum number of job search attempts) will be waived under the new federal unemployment benefits.

The federal and state programs are different. It will take the states some time to learn about and implement the federal benefits. This is a new thing for them and for us (IC's who usually do not qualify for any unemployment benefits).

There are multiple references to this change in the news, and there are numerous threads and posts in this forum where people discuss this new, temporary benefits package as it relates to us.

@nc wrote:

I was told the unemployment laws changed and are we now eligible for unemployment?

Things are not to be judged good or bad merely because the public think so. - Tacitus


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/2020 11:49PM by Shop-et-al.
I have friends who have applied in California and are currently independent contractors. They haven't received a W-2 in recent years. They applied for unemployment last Friday. For those who aren't aware, California gives you the option of sending you a check or depositing the money to a debit card issued by Bank of America. EDD has been using Bank of America for a few years now. Some of these friends have received unemployment in the past and were issued the debit card back then. They haven't heard anything from EDD, but began receiving e-mail notifications from Bank of America yesterday that their accounts were active again. They called the bank and were told that all they know on their end is that EDD has contacted them in the last few days to notify them that money will be coming to those debit cards soon. Apparently, EDD expects people to keep the debit card even if they become employed again because it will always be associated with their social security number until it expires. It was a good thing that they called the bank because they have new cards coming their way.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/2020 11:42PM by AnonymousGirl.
Idaho said today that it will be 3 weeks before they will be set up online to start the process. Then another 2 weeks for them to process your paperwork.
My state told us to go ahead and apply. We will get denied at first because the website is not set up for IC's, but they will be working on the back end to approve the claims. Our Gov said today that 40,000 IC claims have been approved so far.
@CoffeeQueen wrote:

My state told us to go ahead and apply. .
To help others, what state is that?
That sure as heck isn't Oklahoma. I guess they did not get it set up yet but they told me that I could reapply in July when it starts its next quarter. I had done this on the web.

@CoffeeQueen wrote:

My state told us to go ahead and apply. We will get denied at first because the website is not set up for IC's, but they will be working on the back end to approve the claims. Our Gov said today that 40,000 IC claims have been approved so far.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2020 12:01AM by 2stepps.
I spoke with someone at the Virginia unemployment office several days ago. He told me to go ahead and apply online. I had a hard time getting past some of the questions because they didn't apply to me and I couldn't get to the next page. I just put in a lot of comments and the application completed on the website.

I saw this message on the Virginia unemployment website this morning:

"The CARES Act creates a benefit for people who are not eligible under a standard state unemployment insurance claim, including 1099 and Gig workers. This program is called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). We are awaiting guidance from the United States Department of Labor as to exactly how to implement PUA. Once we receive that guidance, we will have to develop a system for taking PUA claims and paying benefits."
Kentucky

@wwin wrote:

@CoffeeQueen wrote:

My state told us to go ahead and apply. .
To help others, what state is that?
That sounds like a brush-off from an employee who doesn't know or doesn't want to be bothered. I'd apply right now, but that's just me.

@2stepps wrote:

That sure as heck isn't Oklahoma. I guess they did not get it set up yet but they told me that I could reapply in July when it starts its next quarter.

@CoffeeQueen wrote:

My state told us to go ahead and apply. We will get denied at first because the website is not set up for IC's, but they will be working on the back end to approve the claims. Our Gov said today that 40,000 IC claims have been approved so far.
Does anyone know if you can file for the IC unemployment if you also have a W-2 job? Most of my income comes from mystery shopping, but I also have a part time / on call job job that I work occasional hours. When I try to apply online it links the W-2 job from my previous tax returns and asks questions about that job. I am still working that job as needed, but only a few hours a month. I don't want to file a claim against that job and I will report the hours I work to the unemployment office.
I am not sure how to report last year's IC income on the application.
I'm just wondering how anyone else may have dealt with this issue.
@yoya301 wrote:

Does anyone know if you can file for the IC unemployment if you also have a W-2 job? Most of my income comes from mystery shopping, but I also have a part time / on call job job that I work occasional hours. When I try to apply online it links the W-2 job from my previous tax returns and asks questions about that job. I am still working that job as needed, but only a few hours a month. I don't want to file a claim against that job and I will report the hours I work to the unemployment office.
I am not sure how to report last year's IC income on the application.
I'm just wondering how anyone else may have dealt with this issue.


You have to claim your w-2 job. I believe that w-2 jobs regularly report to the EDD so they’d know within a few weeks that you are working if you decide to exclude that income
It's a complex formula if you are an employee + an IC, but how it works in CA at least is that they will award you a particular weekly amount. Any earnings you have during that time period will be counted against your weekly disbursement.

For the sake of easy math, let's say that you are awarded $150 weekly, based on your combined income; $100 for your IC income and $50 for your employment. If your IC income drops to 5% of what it normally is, but you continue to work as an employee, you would presumable get a $95 payment (+$600 stimulus). If your employed hours were cut back by 50% due to the pandemic, you would get $120 (+$600) weekly instead.

(Edited because a typo made my math bad!)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2020 12:23AM by SteveSoCal.
@SteveSoCal wrote:

It's a complex formula if you are an employee + an IC, but how it works in CA at least is that they will award you a particular weekly amount. Any earnings you have during that time period will be counted against your weekly disbursement.

For the sake of easy math, let's say that you are awarded $150 weekly, based on your combined income; 1000 for your IC income and $50 for your employment. If your IC income drops to 5% of what it normally is, but you continue to work as an employee, you would presumable get a $95 payment (+$600 stimulus). If your employed hours were cut back by 50% due to the pandemic, you would get $120 (+$600) weekly instead.

This is exactly how it works in Washington State as well. I have a good friend who applied and already received his email stating he was awarded benefits. He has both employee wages (which he continues to have - state PT job that he is not loosing) and IC jobs from mystery shopping. He was awarded $185 dollars a week plus the $600 stimulus based only on the loss of mystery shopping fees. This is in addition to his continued employee wages that he still has (about $1200 gross per month).

He now will make more money on unemployment than he did mystery shopping essentially "full time".

I don't have a problem with this, though I admit it is a little puzzling (someone is going to make more money now than they did before) - the stimulus money is just that, stimulus money - designed to get the people most likely to spend, out there spending.
@MickeyB wrote:

I admit it is a little puzzling (someone is going to make more money now than they did before) - the stimulus money is just that, stimulus money - designed to get the people most likely to spend, out there spending.

I think it serves the additional purpose of specifically giving people (like some who have posted here about wanting to still shop) incentive to not leave the house...thus keeping the rest of us safer.
What would you say about people who are willing to complete phone and online shops while staying at home?


@SteveSoCal wrote:

@MickeyB wrote:

I admit it is a little puzzling (someone is going to make more money now than they did before) - the stimulus money is just that, stimulus money - designed to get the people most likely to spend, out there spending.

I think it serves the additional purpose of specifically giving people (like some who have posted here about wanting to still shop) incentive to not leave the house...thus keeping the rest of us safer.

Things are not to be judged good or bad merely because the public think so. - Tacitus
My understanding is if you’re a self employed individual you would not list the companies. If you had no work (W2) for the past 18 months then you will only be eligible for the Care amount. But if you apply you do have to be seeking other employment. In CA due to the AB5 law that became effective 1/1/2020 MSCs have to onboard, complete W4, verify your legal right to work with I9 form and pay you through payroll service along withholdings and reimburse mileage. Ive only had one company reach out to me to onboard me as a temp employee but they have no work right now. If anyone has any other info about MSCs and how they are going to deal with AB5 please chime in.
Has anyone in CA here actually applied? Is they system set up for online applications for IC's yet?
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