It’s been seven weeks since the CARES Act, the first major piece of legislation aimed at addressing the coronavirus crisis, was signed into law. That law created Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Paycheck Protection Program, two initiatives that were intended to provide critical aid for freelance and self-employed individuals, who have been doubly affected both by shutdowns to contain the spread of the virus and by the resulting economic downturn.
Nearly two months later, the facts are impossible to ignore: millions of freelancers — 84% of those who responded to our recent survey — haven’t received a dollar.
Today, we sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Small Business Committee Chair Nydia Velázquez, and the New York and California congressional delegations to demand that the government take action to solve this crisis. The letters, co-signed by 30 organizations that represent freelancers in film, media, and the arts, outline the big steps needed to make real change for the serious problems freelancers are facing right now.
In addition to the long-delayed rollout of PUA applications across the country, we’ve seen that a lack of guidance from the federal government has left states unsure how to proceed once freelancer claims are received.