PA Independent Contractors, Freelancers, Can Now Apply for Unemployment

Date: April 18, 2020

NFIB issues news release expressing relief

Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Applications Finally Open for Independent Workers in PA
Long delay difficult for gig workers, independent contractors who were low on cash

HARRISBURG April 18, 2020 – NFIB, which represents 13,000 small businesses in Pennsylvania including many independent contractors, is pleased and relieved that the state has been able to get its unemployment applications open for those workers who have their own small business. This morning, NFIB found that the application process was now live at https://www.uc.pa.gov/unemployment-benefits/file/Pages/Filing-for-PUA.aspx. NFIB’s State Director in Pennsylvania, Gordon Denlinger reacted to the good news:

“Independent contractors and freelancers have found themselves between a rock and a hard place since the health crisis arose as only “essential” or “life-sustaining” businesses in Pennsylvania were allowed to remain open. That left the owners of these smallest businesses stuck, unable to work, pay bills, or support their families. It was a relief when Congress passed legislation allowing self-employed people to get unemployment, but many states didn’t have IT infrastructure in place to carry that out. We are very grateful that Governor Wolf was able to get that system open and running today.

“While we are pleased financial relief is on the horizon for gig workers and independent contractors, many of them tell us they would much rather be working. Hopefully, the forced shutdowns will soon be lifted when it is safe to do so. Some home improvement contractors say they often work outside, on roofs, on new construction and even alone or with a few subs and assume the danger of spreading the virus is minimal. We look forward to a state recovery plan that considers these factors and allows those with little risk to get back to work.”

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