Labor attorney Jason Smith offers an overview of benefits available to self-employed people during this emergency.
In this excerpt from the podcast “Taking the PIS” (a side project by PursuitMag editor Hal Humphreys and defense attorney Reagan Wynn), Hal and Reagan interview Ft. Worth trial and appellate lawyer Jason Smith about the range of benefits available to self-employed people during the COVID-19 crisis — and how to access that emergency aid.
*NOTE: Dean and Karen Beers have posted an excellent resource guide to all things COVID-19 at this site.
Hear the full episode here:
- Expect unprecedented unemployment rates and claims for jobless benefits in the coming weeks/months. (Numbers have changed radically since this was recorded.)
- If your state has been declared a federal disaster area, you may qualify for disaster unemployment assistance.
- Disaster unemployment assistance (unlike regular unemployment assistance) CAN provide relief for self-employed people for the period of the disaster, up to 26 weeks.
- To qualify, you’ll need to show evidence of prior earnings, such as tax returns and bank statements.
- The coronavirus relief bill will provide 13 weeks of income benefits for self-employed people whose income is affected by COVID-19. (This does NOT depend on a disaster declaration in your state.)
- That stimulus package also provides checks of $1,200 for individuals, with an additional $500 for each child, capped at $2,400. (See this FAQ for income caps and additional requirements.)
- You don’t have to apply for that stimulus check. Watch for it in the mailbox.
- To file for disaster unemployment assistance, apply at your state’s unemployment commission. Don’t try to figure out if you’re eligible. JUST FILE for the benefits. If you’re denied, you can appeal.
- Deadlines to file and pay federal income taxes have been extended to July 15.
- Learn more about the U.S. government’s small business assistance programs here.
- See this site for a list of U.S. government information resources related to COVID-19.
- Visit this site to learn about the programs created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help small businesses.
- Expect everything to change day by day. Be nimble in your thinking and open to new realities.
- PLEASE PROTECT YOURSELF by social distancing.
It’s worth your time to hear the entire conversation with Hal, Reagan, and Jason. They talk about many other legal issues surrounding COVID-19, including ramifications in the criminal justice system and potential opportunities for investigators in the wake of the crisis. You can hear that full episode here.
(*Note: Although we’ve cleaned up the excerpt above, the full podcast contains profanity. If you hate foul language and want to avoid the highest concentration of it, skip the last 12 minutes or so.