[This is an informative post from Rachel Rascoe at the Austin Chronicle about independent contractors filing for unemployment insurance. Although it focuses on Texas, it’s probably pretty much replicated process across all states. h/t Nikki Rowling for spotting it, big thanks to Rachel for her post and as always to the Chronicle for being the Chronicle.]
Independent contractors, freelancers, and self-employed individuals – who make up a large portion of music industry workers – aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits from the Texas Workforce Commission. Skinner submitted a claim anyway using a 1099 tax form, and later confirmed with the Houston Arts Alliance that’s their recommended move. Her information should then be in the system already in the event of Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA), which will be open to self-employed workers.
On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter requesting presidential declaration of a major disaster in Texas – a designation required to unlock DUA funding. Advocacy groups hope for clarification on new unemployment benefits in coming days. Tamara Atkinson, CEO of Workforce Solutions Capital Area, also recommends claimants move forward with the application process.
“If someone is unsure whether they qualify for unemployment insurance, our advice is: You should apply,” she states.