How do self employed/ sole proprietors apply for this new unemployment benefits for us??

Original Post

My thoughts would be to search online for your states unemployment benefits FAQ's. There has not been a lot of detailed info released yet only that people are encouraged to file ASAP. Which in most states you can do from that same website. Just apply and enter as much info as possible to get the process started. They will then contact you or send you a letter.

Hello Community, 

@Dear Penny I look forward to more info on this topic too. I am trying to determine whether or not I qualify. Knowing that will help me determine my next step. 

Hang in there everyone!

I did some googling, and hope these articles help.

1. How to Access Stimulus Funding for Your Small Business. U.S. Chamber of Commerce site:

2. U.S. Small Business Administration Grants, etc:;  Disaster Loans (includes pandemics):

3. BMI Coronavirus Aid, etc: Speaks to musicians - but also to pandemic unemployment assistance, etc.:

4.  Schiff Hardin Insights:

Hi everyone - I have a question. I was furloughed by my part time job. Could I apply for unemployment assistance since I am still working my full time job, but not my part time job. Any thoughts or suggestions??

Big apologies for not jumping back into this thread sooner. Unfortunately, the process of unemployment has been especially hard for those who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, etc.

@Michelle Lawson @Sunny D One of the big problems has been that states haven't gotten much insight from the federal government about the rules for giving unemployment to self-employed people. It's very new for everyone.

As I understand it, what most people who are self-employed, freelancers, etc., will have to do is apply for unemployment through their state (I'm sorry to even type that, because I know how difficult it is to get through right now) and then get denied. Once you're deemed ineligible for through your state, then you can apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funds.

You'll typically be eligible for half of your state's benefit plus $600 a week. So here in Florida, where the maximum state benefit is $275, you'd be eligible for $737.50 a week (50% of $275 plus $600).

Since it's so hard to get through to unemployment, make sure you've gathered all your documents (like 1099s) to show your work history, so that when you do get through, you can make things move as quickly as possible. Once you are able to get through, you will be able to apply retroactively for benefits, so make sure you're documenting all those times you aren't able to get through to the folks at your state unemployment office.

Another option would be to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan for 2.5 times your monthly income. If you follow certain rules, you can have the entire amount forgiven. Here are a few more details:

That said, it's difficult to get your application processed right now because banks are overwhelmed with applications. Start with whoever you bank with. Try a community bank or an online lender if your bank isn't an option.

@Leon I don't think you'd be able to apply for benefits if you're working full time. Here's a list of companies that are hiring 700,000 workers in response to coronavirus. Hopefully, you'll find some options for replacing some of that income.

If anyone finds new information about navigating unemployment, please report back to us! This is very uncharted territory for everyone, so whatever you learn will be a huge help to others.

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