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California gig workers, self-employed can file for unemployment under state program

Posted at 8:47 AM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 11:48:55-04

(KGTV) – California’s gig workers, independent contractors and self-employed workers out of jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for state unemployment benefits.

The state’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, part of the federal CARES Act, is aimed at helping workers who are not eligible for basic unemployment. California began accepting applications for assistance on Tuesday.

Through the program’s Phase 1, gig workers/contractors/self-employed are eligible to receive $167 per week if they have been unemployed from Feb. 22, 2020-March 28, 2020.

Under Phase 2 of the program, those unemployed from March 29, 2020, are eligible to receive $167 for every week they are out of work plus $600 per week from federal funds. This benefit is only available until July 25, 2020.

Phase 3 applies to workers who are unemployed from July 26, 2020-Dec. 26, 2020. Those workers are eligible for $167 per week.

A full breakdown of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, including how to apply and eligibility details, can be found on this page of the state’s Employment Development Department website.