DWD explains new stipulation for the self-employed, independent contractors and small business owners

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Some Indiana businesses are getting ready to re-open, but some independent workers are still relying on the government for assistance.

A couple of weeks ago we reported on the additional funding for the stimulus act for small businesses. The additional funding came with more provisions. This go-round, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program(PUA) was created under the CARES Act for unemployed small business owners, self contractors, and self-employed workers.

When filing for the PUA, the federal government provides $600. As for the state funding, in Indiana, if a business owner has not filed his or her 2019 taxes, he or she will only qualify for the state’s minimum of $149.

“We have to quantify their earnings in 2019 their income to be consistent with federal law,” said Josh Richardson, Chief of Staff, Department of Workforce Development. “Many states aren’t doing this and that allows people to qualify for more than the minimum. Hopefully it will work for a significant enough amount to make a difference.”

Richardson said that this program is to give Hoosiers the opportunity to justify a higher amount from unemployment assistance.

“If they are an employee we have their wages because their employer reported it to us. With this program we don’t know anything about their earnings they reported to the department of revenue,” said Richardson. “They never been required to report anything to us and so under these federal rules we basically have to find out how much in benefits do they qualify for.”

Richardson said payments from the PUA are expected to be deposited on May 9th.

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