Self-Employed, Gig and Freelance Workers Can Apply for Unemployment Today

Starting Today at 8 AM, More Workers to Qualify for Unemployment Under the CARES Act


OIn light of the economic downturn brought about by COVID-19, self-employed, gig and low-wage workers, as well as 1099-independent contractors affected by COVID-19, will be able to apply for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) starting Monday, April 13 at 8 am. Coming as part of the federal CARES Act, self-employed individuals covered will also be eligible for the set $600 federal weekly payment in addition to their state benefit amount.

Michigan is one of the first states that has begun sending out the extra $600 payment.

“Ensuring Michiganders have access to state and federal benefits during this pandemic is a critical part in protecting everyone’s health and safety,” Governor Whitmer shared when commenting on the issue. “We will do everything we can to continue providing emergency financial assistance as quickly as possible to the Michigan working families who have lost income as a result of COVID-19.”

“We’re committed to making sure everyone who is eligible for unemployment assistance receives their benefits as quickly as possible,” added Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio. “Michigan is one of the first states to begin sending the additional $600 benefit to workers, and our dedicated Unemployment Insurance Agency team is working tirelessly to provide emergency benefits during this crisis.”


Self-employed workers who are interested may apply at Michigan.gov/UIA, and the order of filing will start based on the workers last name. Going into the start of the week, A-L should begin filing claims beginning at 8 am Monday.

All newly eligible workers will need to provide some sort of proof of income to receive the maximum amount they are entitled to. Forms accepted include W-2s, 1099 tax forms, and or pay stubs. Self-employed workers will begin receiving federal benefits as early as April 20 after their bi-weekly certification.

For workers who have already applied and were denied, they should be sure to log into their MiWAM account to complete the next steps for PUA federal benefits. These steps will also be emailed to workers accordingly.

Individuals on paid sick leave or other paid leave or those who have the ability to telework with pay – are not eligible for unemployment assistance.