Independent Contractor Unemployment Insurance - Federal CARES Act

Yes, the information on this thread was helpful. I was finally able to speak to someone after multiple attempts multiple days. Likewise, my application was submitted, weeks later I received an approval letter, but I could not proceed with the next step of "certifying my benefits" until I received a 10 digit number to access my account online. Anyway, finally spoke to someone who answered my questions, gave me my 10 digit number, and directed my next steps. I am curious how long it takes before the actual card arrives, but just knowing that it's on the way feels good.

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@wwin wrote:

Maybe my situation was unique, they did make other mistakes setting up my account such as wrong name, but I'm worried for others waiting that received $0.00 .
@carlsbadguy wrote:

Got my California EDD claim insurance award in the mail and it says $0.00.

I don't think your situation was unique, unfortunately. I know at least a dozen of people who got a 0$ claim award, spend days and days calling, and then found out they were tracked into the standard EDD system instead of the PUA system. I know precisely 2 people who filled out their forms in the exact same manner, were processed correctly, and immediately paid

It appears that in the haste to process claims, the EDD didn't correctly train the employees who were processing claims, thus resulting in needing even more employees to answer the slew of phone calls that created.

Good too hear that it's starting to get resolved....
It's almost 2 months since everything shut down & people still can't get the funds that were intended to tide them over??? By the time the states figure it out, everything will be open, many will begin working and no longer qualify. Seems like they designed it that way. Luckily most credit, utility and loan agencies have suspended late fees because. if people needed that unemployment $ to pay their bills, they'd be up a creek.

Reporting from SC. I think it was March 25 when the PUA system for ICs went live. There was very little information provided. No mention of earning requirements, or if they wanted gross or net amounts. Didn't know if I was wasting my time or not, but I applied, and uploaded my routing/account numbers, 2018 Sch C, and 1099s. I got paid yesterday, retroactive to March 15. Although my initial UI claim was denied, when I was approved for PUA, I was approved for UI, and am receiving both.

Don't know what will be taxable. I chose not to have anything withheld. I'll deal with that, if and when.
I was finally able to get into the system and now I just have to show that I was working last year and this year and that I am trying. But I am sure they will hang onto the information so that they can hit me with business taxes next year at the state and city and county level.
I think it is a mess in all states. In Idaho they have people that applied the week of March 23 for regular unemployment, not the PUA and they are still waiting to be confirmed to get benefits. The news said that they still have 39,000 self employed, IC, gig workers claims to process. They started out with 48,000. I did get mine on May 13.
@2stepps wrote:

I was finally able to get into the system and now I just have to show that I was working last year and this year and that I am trying. But I am sure they will hang onto the information so that they can hit me with business taxes next year at the state and city and county level.

If you are up to date with paying the taxes owed by your business, there shouldn't be any surprises coming....
@SteveSoCal wrote:

@MSF wrote:

Someone working 40 hours a week is not considered unemployed. I doubt that they would qualify for either federal pandemic unemployment compensation or any state's unemployment compensation. Regardless of whether they lost some of their work, they are still employed full time.

@luckygirl0100 wrote:

It's theoretically no different than having two W-2 jobs and losing one OR working 80 hours a week and being cut to 40 hours. Either of those situations would qualify you for UI.

To clear up any's not about hours. Unemployment is based on income. You can work 20 hours, 100 or just 5 hours a week, but if there's a drop in your pay you are underemployed, and potentially able to receive some benefits. It really depends on your state, though.

I only know the CA system well so that's all I can responsibly address, but luckygirl0100 would be able to file a claim in CA based on income disparity if she was laid off due to the pandemic and her new job paid significantly less.

This is incredibly different than either of the two states I've ever filed unemployment in. In my experiences unemployment gets cut off after $x in income. So you're saying someone who lived in CA, who has 2 jobs, both making $40,000 a year, lost 1 of the 2 jobs, and would be able to get unemployment because they lost 1 of those jobs??? Maybe I'm reading it wrong or misunderstanding the situation. In both of my experiences filing unemployment each week you filled out a weekly certification stating how much you earned. You could earn a small amount, but that 2nd $40k a year job would have immediately disqualified you in both of those instances. I can't remember the limit on the first one (it was 10 years ago) and while I think I saw it somewhere in all the paperwork for this one I didn't care enough to remember what it was, but both of them were small, like maybe under $100 a week and definitely under $200.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
CA is the same as other states for the most part. If you earn between $26 and $99.99, $25 is deducted from your weekly benefit. If you earn $100 or more, 25% of the wages are exempt and the other 75% would go against your weekly benefit. The max weekly benefit is $450. So if the claimant makes less than $600 a week in the remaining job, they could potentially get regular UE benefits and the PUA.
Not sure how it is in other states, but California is getting to roll out the "look for work" requirement in order to continue receiving unemployment. Some people were asked to list where they looked for work or why they didn't look for work when they certified on Sunday. As an IC, you would list yourself at the employer when reporting income earned. Based on what a claims specialist told someone I know, IC's will be required to look for traditional work if their IC income is not enough to get you off of unemployment.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2020 02:29AM by AnonymousGirl.
In California, I received this notice last week

Notice of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Award
Do I need to look for work?
Given the unique economic situation and lack of available work created by the COVID-19 health crisis, you will not be required to look for work while receiving PUA benefits.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2020 04:28PM by wwin.
The MD weekly update clearly states that in the first 10 week, if the pandemic is the reason that you were not available to take work, there is no requirement to look for or accept work.

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.
I am sure this waiver of the looking for work requirement will end at some time. When will be state to state. When I re certified last week I was asked where I looked for work but I was able to click no and still get my payment but the form did not say I could do that. I will see what happens in Calif on my next two week certification. From what I remember from long ago unemployment claims, you did not have to accept work if it was not in your field. So if you were a chemist you did not need to accept work as a greeter at a dept store. etc. If that is still the case I am not sure what broader field they would consider us??? Customer Service??
Finally, after waiting seven weeks I got benefits! Paid for the last six weeks, totaling $3305 with PUA.
I'm in UT, and I was able to apply through the state's website. It's actually pretty slick, and their online chat is surprisingly effective, though wait times can be up to 30 minutes. There were issues with my first UI claim, and it ended up being tossed. I'm within the 4-week notification period for both UI apps I've filed. Waiting to see...

I'm trying to file an unemployment claim under the Cares act. The Texas commission rejected the claim because I don't have the name of the person I worked for. I worked the Shell, Exxon, Chevron, and Valero programs. Does anyone have the name of an individual supervisor?

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/2020 02:54AM by MDavisnowell.
If you apply as an independent contractor, you should be filing under the PUA as opposed to the regular UI. As an independent contractor, you work for yourself, not Exxon, Shell, or any other company you have done mystery shops for. So, you are the supervisor. The company that you work for is whatever your name is. There is no need to mention any other company or supervisor if you are an independent contractor doing mystery shops and applying under Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
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