For Self-Employed, Filing for Unemployment Benefits Is Getting Easier

Kelsey Sheehy
By Kelsey Sheehy 
Edited by Kirsten VerHaar

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Gig workers, freelancers and self-employed workers who lost their income due to the coronavirus may now qualify for unemployment insurance, thanks to expanded benefits included in the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package. But that lifeline, to date, has largely been a tangled mess.

The majority of self-employed workers have been unable to file claims or get answers to their questions, due in large part to the massive effort required to stand up new unemployment programs mandated by the law, signed in March.

Those roadblocks are finally starting to lift. Most states are now taking claims from self-employed workers, but the application process varies from state to state.

Relief for self-employed workers is still in limbo in more than a dozen states, including Arizona, Illinois and Nevada, where relief programs mandated in the relief act are still not operational.

Here’s what you need to know before filing your claim if you are self-employed.

We will update this as new information is available.

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