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How self-employed can file for unemployment benefits

How independent contractors can fileposter - 2020-05-14T175846.879.jpg
Posted at 6:00 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 12:06:15-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Millions of Texans are filing for unemployment benefits.

But here's some information for the self-employed and independent contractors to be able to file.

Francisco Gamez with the Texas Workforce Commission explains how to file for what he calls regular unemployment.

Go online to the Texas Workforce Commission website.

Make sure you have your address and social security number available.

It should take less than 10 minutes.

“When you are asked for your type of job separation, you’re encouraged to type, reduced hours," Gamez said. "If it asks you if your business has been affected by COVID-19, if it has, you would notify us if that.”

And the same process goes for a 1099, or the self-employed. Independent contractors.

These include people in the trades. home improvement, realtors, barbers and consultants.

But Gamez describes the difference in claims.

“Initially, for someone who is self-employed or independent contractor, their claim is going to be denied because we don’t have past wages in our system for that, that had been put in by employers," he said.

That’s not what people struggling financially due to the pandemic want to hear.

“But after being denied, it will be converted to PUA, which is Pandemic Unemployment Assistance," Gamez said. "Then you’ll be notified of eligibility.”

Gamez and the TWC advise that if you’re checking on the status of your claim, to call early in the morning or on weekends.

And he stresses patience because the average wait time to receive your benefits is 21 days.