The COVID-19 pandemic is a trying and uncertain time for people all over the world. This global pandemic is forcing people to stay home and forcing businesses to close down indefinitely. As this global pandemic has no definite end date, business owners and employees are left wondering what to do and what is going to happen to not only their job but also themself. A specific demographic of people that may be wondering what is going to happen to them and their work is independent contractors.
Independent contractors are people that provide a service under a written contract, they do not work regularly for an employer, instead, they work as needed. As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, independent contractors, specifically those that deal with home services and home repairs, like HVAC and siding contractors, need to know how the stimulus package will impact them. This post will detail some of the ways that the stimulus package will affect independent contractors.
What Independent Contractors Need to Know About the Stimulus Package
Independent contractors and those that are self-employed may have a lot of questions as to how their careers’ will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the stimulus package that goes along with it. Here are the top 3 questions that independent contractors are asking.
How is Unemployment Insurance Going to Work?
With the stimulus package, the American federal government expanded unemployment benefits to those that are self-employed. This means that self-employed individuals can collect income that they otherwise would not have been able to collect prior to the COVID-19 virus. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can collect unemployment benefits for a number of reasons having to do with the global pandemic, such as loss of income due to the virus, or even loss of income due to the need to care for one’s child due to school closures.
A business owner that sells solar panels in Cherry Hill pointed out that this process may not be easy though. He added that in order to qualify for unemployment benefits, one must prove that they are not eligible for other benefits which can be a tedious process. He urged that independent contractors do what they can now in order to be proactive in getting their benefits as it could take a long time depending on the state.
What About Health Insurance?
Independent contractors that can’t pay for their current health care due to the global pandemic may be able to enroll in Medicaid for the time being. If your income has dropped below a certain threshold, you may be able to qualify for Medicaid and should do so right away as many people are going to be enrolling in this government-provided health insurance.
How Will I Know If I Am Approved for Unemployment Benefits?
Independent contractors will not receive a written confirmation that they qualified, instead, they will receive their benefits via a direct deposit or they will receive a debit card with their money on it depending on the state. Payment can take up to 3 weeks, however, in most cases, it is much sooner.
If you are not approved, you will in fact receive a written notification letting you know.
Be Proactive During These Trying Times
If you are self-employed/an independent contractor, it’s important that you make the necessary efforts to get your benefits sooner rather than later. As more and more people are applying for benefits, it’s likely that there will be delays in payments, making your life more stressful. If you have been impacted by the COVID-19 virus, do what you can today and apply for the benefits you may be entitled to.
About the Author
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey