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Coronavirus: Self-employed can Apply for Unemployment benefits beginning April 28

2020 April Covid-19 Editions Updates


California is moving closer to providing unemployment benefits for self-employed people who have lost jobs due to the coronavirus emergency.

According to updated guidance from the state, self-employed people who are out-of-work can begin submitting online applications for unemployment benefits on Tuesday, April 28.

The self-employed —  such as business owners, independent contractors, freelancers and gig workers — don’t usually qualify for unemployment benefits. But the federal coronavirus relief law passed at the end of March gives money to the states to expand their unemployment programs to cover the self-employed.

The benefits will be retroactive to February 2 or the date when you became unemployed, whichever is later. The benefits will last up to 39 weeks. For weeks of unemployment from March 29 to July 31, the benefit provided by the state will be boosted by $600 a week from the federal government.  

For more details, including what self-employed people should do now to prepare to file an unemployment claim on April 28, click here.

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T.A. Hendrickson, a native of Eagle Rock, is the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel and a former member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times.