How to Apply for Unemployment in Kentucky or Indiana if You are a Contract/Freelance Worker
Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on June 5, 2020
The Covid 19 outbreak has hit the U.S. economy very hard. Over the past several months, more than forty million Americans have lost their jobs. In Kentucky, unemployment has risen to 36%, one of the highest levels in the country.
At both the federal and the state level, measures have been made to ensure that more Americans receive financial provisions through both the CARES Act and state-specific unemployment insurance. Although these efforts are far from perfect, they can provide much needed income for many. Furthermore, contract, independent, self-employed, freelance workers and those without W2s who previously hadn’t qualified can now receive unemployment insurance.
Follow along for some information on available programs for previously ineligible workers, and how to apply for aid in Kentucky and Indiana.
Federal CARES Act
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed on March 2 2020, to provide $2 trillion to American workers and businesses. Within this act, independent/contract/freelance/self-employed workers qualify for the following two programs:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). It is a federal program providing 39 weeks of unemployment benefits for workers who didn’t previously qualify freelance, contact, independent workers, etc. Only workers ineligible for regular benefits can receive PUA.
- Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC). It provides up to $600 a week for all unemployed workers until July 31st. The amount varies state to state. In Kentucky, the maximum amount receivable is $ while $390 in Indiana. You will receive PUC if you qualify for any sort of regular state unemployment insurance or PUA.
How to Apply for Unemployment in Kentucky
In late March 2020, Governor Beshear released an executive order for state unemployment insurance to open up for many freelance and contract workers, including childcare workers for churches and non profits, substitute teachers, self employed workers, gig economy workers, etc. This is in addition to Federal PUA and PUC aid.
In order to process claims more effectively, the KCC asks that Kentucky residents submit their applications on different days of the week by last name. This schedule is on the KCC Unemployment Insurance Page. Applicants should ignore any error messages about having no claimable wages/monetary invalidity. The system is just being updated and your application will still be filed.
How to Apply for Unemployment in Indiana
In mid-April, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development announced online accessibility to PUA aid for those who are not eligible for unemployment insurance. This is in addition to the PUC. However, in order to qualify for PUA, workers must first apply for state unemployment insurance and be denied. If you are denied, a PUA application will appear on your claimant homepage. After applying, it can take up to 21 days to be accepted. You then must complete weekly vouchers through the Uplink system: https://uplink.in.gov/CSS/CSSLogon.htm.
To apply and access more information, go to https://www.in.gov/dwd/.
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