Benefit calculation for Pandemic Unemployment self employed

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
Ret2018
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:40 pm

Benefit calculation for Pandemic Unemployment self employed

Post by Ret2018 »

I was denied Unemployment Insurance because I am self-employed and did not have an employer of record (the first required step to get PUA). I applied for and was approved for PUA, and have received payments. However, I question the calculation for the base benefit (not the additional $600) and have been unable to find guidance.

Specifically, my benefits determination letter (which I just received yesterday) states "your monetary eligibility has been established at the minimum amount allowed by law." It also notes "no employer" and "zero" wages for the base period. When applying in the first step for UI, I reported my earnings as my net income from line 31 of Schedule C (my sole source of income). Shouldn't that be used to determine my base benefit for PUA (and not the "zero" wages from "no employer")? If my Schedule C income is used, I' would receive the maximum benefit, not the minimum.

If anyone has experience with this, appreciate hearing from you. Thanks!
pshonore
Posts: 6883
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:21 pm

Re: Benefit calculation for Pandemic Unemployment self employed

Post by pshonore »

Ret2018 wrote: Sat May 09, 2020 3:00 pm I was denied Unemployment Insurance because I am self-employed and did not have an employer of record (the first required step to get PUA). I applied for and was approved for PUA, and have received payments. However, I question the calculation for the base benefit (not the additional $600) and have been unable to find guidance.

Specifically, my benefits determination letter (which I just received yesterday) states "your monetary eligibility has been established at the minimum amount allowed by law." It also notes "no employer" and "zero" wages for the base period. When applying in the first step for UI, I reported my earnings as my net income from line 31 of Schedule C (my sole source of income). Shouldn't that be used to determine my base benefit for PUA (and not the "zero" wages from "no employer")? If my Schedule C income is used, I' would receive the maximum benefit, not the minimum.

If anyone has experience with this, appreciate hearing from you. Thanks!
Generally speaking, self-employed folks who file Schedule C are not eligible for UI (main reason being they did not contribute to the fund that pays benefits.) That has changed recently with the Pandemic and in some states you may be eligible. You'll have to check with your State Labor dept for more info and how to apply as a self-employed person.
Topic Author
Ret2018
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:40 pm

Re: Benefit calculation for Pandemic Unemployment self employed

Post by Ret2018 »

I have applied. I have been approved. My question is regarding the correct method to calculate the base payment for self-employed. Should it be based on zero wages from "no employer," or from my Schedule C 2019 net income (line 31)?
Topic Author
Ret2018
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:40 pm

Re: Benefit calculation for Pandemic Unemployment self employed

Post by Ret2018 »

For any one else with this question, I think the calculation should be based on my Schedule C net income. The PUA benefit amounts are calculated based on previous earnings, using a formula from the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program under the Stafford Act. According to a CRS report, under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program, "When a reasonable comparative earnings history can be constructed, DUA benefits are determined in a similar manner to regular state UC benefit rules. Self-employed persons are expected to bring in their tax records to prove a level of earnings for the previous two years. These records would take the place of the employer-reported wage data in UC benefit determination."
Post Reply