Breaking News: Unemployment Insurance for Independent Contracts

Yesterday (4/14/20) California Labor Secretary Julie A. Su released clarification regarding the State's handling of Unemployment claims for Independent Contractors as part of the recently passed CARES act's Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

Bottom line: CA is building a new PUA application process. It will be ready 5/1 and funds will be processed within 24-48 hours of application. It will be available to Independent Contractors.

Su went on to explain the CA Employment Development Department has already expanded hours to 6 am to 8 pm 7 days week to handle the increased demand.

Like me, many agents have muddled through the existing application process only to be denied a claim. That's been frustrating. So I'm actually very encouraged by this recent update. My worst fear has been that Independent Contractors would be forced to argue and appeal their cases. Additionally, there have been rumours that States might actually resist the Federal Government's new rules and that compliance might be spotty.

However, I believe the CA Labor Secretary's statement is clear and extremely detailed. It even includes details on how much Independent Contractors will earn (about what we expected) under the program. Additionally, it seemed clear that existing applications would NOT be processed under the system. So expect to reapply on 5/1.

The CA Labor Secretary's original statement can be found here: https://www.labor.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Labor-Secretary-Letter-04.14.20.pdf