Can You Receive Unemployment Benefits If You Were Self Employed And Currently Out Of Work?


6 Answers

Aidan McCartney Profile
Aidan McCartney answered
The answer is no, or not really, depending on which country you are from. In the UK you can claim a contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance if you have paid enough National Insurance contributions (NICs). The Jobcentre Plus can pay this for up to 182 days (six months). Generally though, self-employed contributions will not help you qualify for this allowance, unless in special circumstances.
In America it's more of the same. Unlike the UK, the welfare provision is not as extensive. Care and welfare is private and self-funded in most cases. Self-employed workers or freelancers who lose their income are not eligible for unemployment benefits. That's because usually employers contribute into an unemployment benefit fund. If you're self employed often it's a case that those payments don't happen. Even if you did there's a limit to how much it will pay out.
Regardless, when you become unemployed it is important to file an unemployment claim as quickly as possible. The quicker the application, the quicker the assistance, so long as you're eligible.
You can get assistance if you were unemployed as the result of a major disaster. You would be eligible for the Disaster Unemployment Assistance. If you're unsure about your eligibility you should check with your State Unemployment Office. They will determine if you are or not.
If you are out of work but want to become self employed then there is a federal government 'Self Employed Assistance program, which offers unemployed workers, in certain states, benefits to help start up a business.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I am a self employed consultant, owning my own S-corporation. All of my business has been with one client for the past several years and the work has all dried up. I do not have any other clients. Am I eligible for unemployment comp?
Suhail Ajmal Profile
Suhail Ajmal answered
If you were self-employed and now you don't have either the business nor the job so you can apply for unemployment benefit, as long as you are ready to accept new job. Do also remember if you have been fired from your previous job because of your own mistake it can go against you.
thanked the writer.
Jack Prince
Jack Prince commented
It sounds as if you were treated as an independent contractor but receiving a 1099 does not necessarily make it so. File for unemployment benefits and let the department decide. See my site on the definitions page for further information regarding independent contractors.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I have been self employed for many years but now have no work can I sign on and get either job seekers allowance or unemployment benefit
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
You can not collect unemployment unless you or employer paid the the unemployment insurance premiums for you in the US.

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