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Unemployment Help For Freelancers: Unless They Have A W-2

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L.A.'s many freelancers were happy to hear about last week's launch of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. That's the fancy name for a federal effort to provide financial relief for self-employed folks who've lost work to the pandemic.

But there's a bit of a catch for those freelancers who do even a little bit of work for a traditional employer.

  • If you got a W-2 for any work — even for a weekend gig acting in a TV commercial — you don't qualify for help under PUA.
  • In that instance, your unemployment benefits will be calculated on their W-2 wages, even if most of your income came from freelance work.

The silver lining is the $600 in temporary additional weekly unemployment benefits Congress recently approved.

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