On March 27, an emergency relief bill now known as the CARES Act became law to help bolster the U.S. economy as the country battles the coronavirus. The new law covers a broad cross-section of the economy — including the freelance sector. Of particular note, the relief package gives jobless workers bigger unemployment checks over a longer period of time, including freelancers and the self-employed, who are typically excluded from collecting these benefits.
Here’s what freelancers can expect to receive in terms of financial relief under this new law:
· All self-employed workers, contractors, government employees, individuals seeking part-time work, and workers who quit their job or can’t reach their place of work as a result of COVID-19 are among those eligible for unemployment benefits.
· The law allows individuals to claim unemployment benefits for an extended period of time (up to four months) and waives the typical one-week waiting period to start receiving benefits.
· Weekly unemployment benefit payouts are increased by $600. For self-employed individuals, the benefit will equal 100% of the covered individual’s regular weekly compensation, and not less than $600 per week.
· The law revives the “Emergency Unemployment Compensation” program for 13 additional weeks on top of states’ standard