Unemployment compensation under recent COVID-19 legislation is now available for gig workers. A gig worker is one who provides services for short term work commitments. Gig employees are freelancers, Independent contractors, temporary or part time hires, or project-based workers. Examples of gig workers include self-employed artists, Uber and Lyft drivers, and hairdressers. Pre-COVID-19, gig workers were ineligible to seek state jobless claims.
In Florida, the amount of state relief the gig worker may obtain is up to $275 weekly over a maximum of twelve weeks as well as a $600 weekly benefit under the federal CARES Act through the end of July. There is not a special system for gig workers to use to file their claim; rather, gig workers file their claim via this website: https://www.floridajobs.org/RAA Application
In order to apply, the individual must be self-employed and seeking part-time employment and show how the pandemic forced the person out of work such as a business or entire industry closing during this crisis, the need to care for a child, or that the worker has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or showing symptoms.
Other funding is available to independent contractors under the Paycheck Protection Program by applying through an approved SBA lender. A list of SBA lenders may be found at www.sba.gov One can not collect for both unemployment and loan money as it would be considered “double dipping.” The SBA loan application does ask if applicants have received money from other sources.