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Unemployment for Contractors and Part-Time Workers

The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes  assistance for people who don't qualify for standard unemployment insurance.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) covers:

  • self-employed workers
  • independent contractor
  • freelancers
  • workers seeking part-time work
  • workers who do not have a long-enough work history to qualify for state UI benefits
  • workers who have exhausted their standard state UI benefits

PUA covers from Jan. 27, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020. Benefits can be paid retroactively and for a maximum of 39 weeks.

The minimum weekly benefit is half of the average unemployment benefit in the state. 

People in New York State can learn more by visiting the Department of Labor's CARES page at

In Pennsylvania, visit the Office of Unemployment Compensation at