Some freelancers, gig workers, and the self-employed who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic will soon see a sizable increase in their weekly unemployment benefit.
The new $ 900 billion stimulus package enables millions of unemployed Americans to receive higher unemployment benefits of $ 400 per week for some “mixed earners” whose income is based on W-2 employment plus independent contract work and / or self-employment.
The new law revived the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program that was originally created by the first economic contract. FPUC offers a $ 300 weekly bonus to those on $ 1 or more in unemployment benefits. A new program called Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) offers some mixed earners who receive unemployment insurance an additional $ 100 per week.
In a guide to government employment agencies, the Department of Labor confirmed that eligible UI beneficiaries receive both bonuses, increasing their weekly unemployment checks by $ 400.
Here you can see who is getting the money and why.
What is Mixed Unemployment Allowance (MEUC)?
Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation is a $ 100 addition to weekly unemployment insurance payments, available only if you’ve had a W-2 job and You made at least $ 5,000 through a side performance or self-employment during the tax year that you first made your unemployment claim.
If you are eligible for the $ 100 MEUC Extension, you are automatically eligible for the $ 300 FPUC Extension.
“Mixed-earner Unemployment Benefit Compensation is designed to provide financial assistance to gig workers, freelancers and other self-employed workers who have been inadvertently excluded from the federal pandemic unemployment assistance program due to their technical qualifications for traditional state unemployment,” said MixedIncome.org .
In other words, as a mixed income income, your state may have approved you for traditional unemployment insurance, which is based only on the income of your W-2 job – regardless of your extra income. The MEUC program tries to remedy this scenario.
According to MixedIncome.org, 47 states have agreed to provide 100 MEUC benefits. The three states that did not choose the program are Idaho, Mississippi, and South Dakota.
Weekly payments for FPUC (USD 300) and MEUC (USD 100) are available between December 26, 2020 and March 14, 2021. Both services are available retrospectively for a total of 11 weeks.
To receive MEUC benefits, you must submit income records to your state’s Department of Labor.
While $ 300 FPUC payments are automatic, you must demonstrate that you have earned at least $ 5,000 in self-employed income in order to receive MEUC payments. Each state participating in the program must notify you with specific submission instructions. To prepare, consider creating 1099 or 1040 tax forms, ledgers, and payment summaries through Gig Apps – basically any documents showing your earnings.
As the local employment offices need to collect and review additional information, it will likely take several weeks for the MEUC benefits to take effect.
“We need to be aware that it is unlikely that eligible applicants will see these benefits immediately,” said John Pallasch, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training, in a DOL announcement.
Adam Hardy works for The Penny Hoarder. It covers the gig economy, remote work, and other unique ways to make money. Read hisLatest articles hereor say hello on twitter @hardyjournalism.