Unemployment for Independent Contractors?
Updated: Sep 16
If you are an independent contractor and due to the coronavirus either cannot work or have had your hours reduced, you can still qualify for unemployment in California. On April 28, 2020, California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) began accepting applications from independent contractors for unemployment. How to qualify:
· In the past 5-18 months were you also an hourly or salaried employee (i.e. you received a W-2 tax form)? If so, your prior employer should have made unemployment payments on your behalf and you should qualify for unemployment under California's normal unemployment program.
· Or do you think you were misclassified as an independent contractor (i.e. you received a 1099 tax form), but should have been considered an employee? If you are not sure or believe you were misclassified and should have received all the rights and benefits of a traditional employee, please contact Nunes Workers Rights Law for a free consultation.
· Or if believe you were properly classified as an independent contractor, you can apply for unemployment through the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance.htm
When filing for Unemployment, you will be asked about your last employer:
· If you think you were properly classified as an independent contractor, you should list yourself as your last employer.
· If you think you were misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee, be sure to include your employer's name, phone number, and address. You’ll also need an estimate for your dates worked and approximately how much you were paid (hourly or weekly).
· If you are a gig economy worker (e.g. Uber, Postmates), you should list your gig employer as your last employer.