03/30/2020 at 1:47 pm #75631
I have read that the expanded unemployment bill that was passed will include benefits for gig workers and self- employment. I’m curious if anyone has had any luck filing a claim or thoughts from people who will or won’t be filing.
I have been full time eBay for many years. I have 1000+ items and have been having good sales over the past few weeks. I typically gross 5k-7k per month. The problem I foresee is that I have been unable to buy anything new to list. Over the last two weeks I have been staying in and not sourcing. I have been able to list all of my backlog. I am caught up.
A 30 day stay at home order has been issued for my state (NC) starting today at 5pm. If I am unable to source for 30 days, sales will drop significantly in the weeks/months to come as a result.
I tried to call the unemployment office to speak to someone, but they are understandably having a high call volume and will not even take new calls. The online application does not allow self employment as a “previous employer.”
The website also says that self employed and contract workers are “not typically covered.” That comes from a section specifically for Covid-19 info.
I will be able to survive with my savings (thankfully) and from the stimulus checks, but there will be a gap that comes from not being able to source new products from estate sales, yard sales and thrift stores for 6+ weeks.
Curious on everyone’s thoughts and personal experience.
03/30/2020 at 2:44 pm #75635
I’m in a similar situation, just on a smaller scale. My store is very lightweight and runs on about 210 items @ $3.5k/$4k a month. This means the store is easier to manage, but has high highs and low lows, which is very evident right now. These last few weeks have put it through the shredder and will likely spit out a completely inoperable store by May. I’m OK thanks to savings, re-routed business funds (no new inventory, gas, etc.,) and TrumpBux, but only until May/June. My hope is that some kind of sourcing can resume in May and I can 180 from bottoming out and salvage Q2.
What I’ve seen from reading online is that this new bill supports self-employed people who would normally not qualify for up to 4 months. I saw the line “$600/wk, plus whatever your state’s base UI rate is.” I have zero idea what that means. Honestly, I’m waiting for someone to make a video explaining all this so math-deficient people like myself stand a chance at doing the application properly. As it stands, I have no idea what they’d need to see to verify my income. Past taxes? What I filed this year? etc.
03/30/2020 at 3:16 pm #75639LukastreasuretroveParticipant
- Location: Chevy Chase, MD
Here is a link from NPR that should answer some of your questions:
03/30/2020 at 3:34 pm #75641
This is from the NC Department of Commerce website.
“Are independent contractors eligible for unemployment insurance?”
Independent contractors and self-employed workers are typically not covered. In order to be eligible, workers must have held a job considered covered employment.
I hope this changes soon. I will update if I can get someone on the phone. May call tomorrow or Wednesday.
- This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Paul.
03/30/2020 at 5:08 pm #75652
I’m in the same boat as you guys. March-June is when I normally source heavily for my Amazon store, but that’s not happening this year. Sales are down currently 70-80% from this time last year because I haven’t added new stock since February. During the winter, I tend to add only a few hundred books to my store. From March-June, I usually add at least 3,000 books. I am currently down at least 600 expected books for the month.
Sales are currently only down 20% on my main Ebay store. I have enough stock to list consistently through the fall and most likely winter, so I’m not worried about that.
Amazon has always accounted for a substantial amount of my income. Since I’m down 20% on Ebay, I am incapable of making up for lost income on just that venue alone. However, sales are up on both my 2nd Ebay store, as well as my Etsy store from last year. That might add another 5% or 10% in income overall. Still, not enough to cover what Amazon used to make.
To be honest, I don’t know what even physical, in-person sourcing will look like a few months from now. With all of the expected retail closures, how sure are we that even thrift stores will survive? Are they expected to continue to pay rent while being forced to close due to their non-essential status? What about normal retail shops a lot of us used to source at? A lot of these places may permanently close if forced to stay shuttered for months on end. There is really a lot to consider in regards to what the future of sourcing may look like for us resellers, no matter what we may sell.
03/30/2020 at 7:54 pm #75657
The lockdowns aren’t sustainable. We’re stopping 100% of the economy for a 2-5% mortality rate. The government said there’s potentially “several months” of this left, then handed us, what, $1.5k to $2k? When the money starts to run dry in April/May, I suspect we see just straight-up disobeying of stay-at-home orders, both from the the average person and business owners who don’t have any other options. At a projected 30%+ unemployment rate, some people will effectively lose all they’ve worked for in life, so it’s MAYBE catch COVID-19 via going back to work, or face eviction & life on the street. Not a hard choice for many.
03/30/2020 at 8:00 pm #75658
I agree. I am staying home to help, but at a certain point I would rather get sick. Even if it means I don’t get treated for it. Such a prosperous country to lose over this. I have a savings account I have worked on for years.
I have put blood sweat and tears into my financials. I can’t imagine what people with small businesses must be feeling right now. The stress alone will make people venture out for work.
I’m staying optimistic about the whole thing. I will oblige until it’s time to push back. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.
03/30/2020 at 8:05 pm #75659
What if this is the event that causes universal basic income and universal healthcare to trigger.
Everyone is going to be cashing in those government checks and expects free COVID-19 tests/treatment so we’re all down. Everyone in and nobody out.
03/31/2020 at 8:25 am #75684
If there’s potentially 30% unemployment as they are now projecting, what work will they be leaving their homes to go back to? A lot of companies are not going to make it. With the mandated stay at home policies, even if people in non-essential businesses wanted to go back to work, they would legally not be able to, whether they wanted to brave the virus or not.
03/31/2020 at 8:29 am #75685
A 2-5% mortality rate is terrifying. I also feel they’re not doing enough to keep people at home – we need more significant lockdowns in order to get the numbers down, especially in the larger cities.
04/01/2020 at 10:16 am #75720Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
People who argue that the 2-5% mortality rate is just the price to pay for have a booming economy, will change their minds once it’s their friends and family dying. My best friend’s grandpa died a few days ago from it. No one got to visit or say goodbye. He died in a hospital bed alone. Now the family can’t even grieve together as grandma is in quarantine dealing with her grieve alone and funerals aren’t allowed unless they keep the guest list to under 10 people. Our economy will come back. Our family members won’t.
04/01/2020 at 11:58 am #75723
03/30/2020 at 8:15 pm #75660
Jay, our view on politics are probably not the same judging by a few comments I’ve noticed over the years but that’s ok. I forgive you 😆.
Universal’s healthcare I’m for, but in my opinion the government screws everything up it touches. Italy is getting crushed. That doesn’t mean our current healthcare system is any better for the lower class. I’ll give you that. I would like universal healthcare for my children when they are grown, but I have yet to see a well thought out plan. It costs a lot of money and takes away the insensitive for innovation and creativity. In my opinion.
UBI sounds good too, apart from the obvious flaws. As a small business owner yourself, if everyone is given let’s says $1,000 a month extra a month, could you honestly say you wouldn’t raise prices on your Airbnb properties?
I know I would. And so would car manufacturers, groceries chains, big box stores, realters and so on.
03/30/2020 at 8:20 pm #75661
UBI sounds good too, apart from the obvious flaws. As a small business owner yourself, if everyone is given let’s says $1,000 a month extra a month, could you honestly say you wouldn’t raise prices on your Airbnb properties? I know I would. And so would car manufacturers, groceries chains, big box stores, realtors and so on.
Only one way to find out. We’re already one check into UBI 🙂 Keep it going!
03/31/2020 at 8:38 am #75686
Free healthcare should be a given for a country as rich as the US. It’s just the decent thing to do.
03/30/2020 at 8:34 pm #75662
Yang is still young. He might run again. He has a point with automation though.
Gotta get that GDP up first. Bring manufacturing back to the US. I think people are realizing that regardless of which side their on.
UBI is an interesting concept though. I don’t think we’ll have a choice as the population grows and jobs become more specialized.
Hopefully the people who decide on that bill will be better equipped than the idiots working on the stimulus. Both Democrats and Republicans equally. Have you read the thing? Way too many poor people to waste that kind of money. But I just sell shoes on the internet 😄
03/31/2020 at 8:25 am #75683
The Disaster Unemployment Insurance in the new bill probably has not kicked in in any states yet. But anyone seeing any updates, please post here so people who might need it can apply.
03/31/2020 at 8:06 pm #75710So Cal JoeParticipant
Clark Howard (Consumer guy) has a daily podcast. He addresses all kinds of issues like the government stimulus and refunds on cancelled travel etc. I listen to him while hiking or biking to pass the time.
It’s nice to get a different perspective on the happenings. The Doom and Gloom of the news gets really old after a while.
He’s also got a website.
Stay safe everyone.. this too shall pass.
- This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by So Cal Joe.
04/01/2020 at 8:56 am #75717
Self-employed people are supposed to be able to apply for unemployment or an SBA Loan on Friday, April 3. Will update.
04/01/2020 at 12:47 pm #75725
Awesome news. Everywhere, I assume? I’d be interested in seeing the fine print. My income is reduced, but not zero.
04/01/2020 at 10:01 am #75719
just wanted to link to Freelancer’s Union articles about this as well–
04/01/2020 at 11:15 am #75722pythoneskParticipant
- Location: East TN
Wow, I’d like to know what you sell to gross that much with only a 1000 item store.
04/01/2020 at 1:11 pm #75726
I’ve at this point come to terms with the fact that my business will do terribly in 2020, possibly 2021+ and there’s nothing I can do about it. I was powerless to source for stock the month before the shutdown due to fears of it circulating in my community, which actually did end up being the case. I went for health over wealth, and if it makes me poorer in income for the short-term, I’d rather have that than be sick or put others close to me at great risk of becoming sick due to my short-term motivation for a potential increase in profit for my business. Also, what would have one extra month of sourcing have done if I lost out on the rest of the season anyway?
I feel there’s nothing that could’ve been done to make this economic blow any softer. It’s not like preparing for a bad recession. This is something so unexpected, with additional unexpected outcomes to come from it, that it’s still completely a guessing game as to how it will resolve, and when. How will this change the retail landscape? Offices? A physical workplace? Libraries? How will it change everything we are used to in our lives? From going out to movies, to going out to a restaurant, to just going out for a simple walk in which we must be around others. If this lasts for several months, a year, how will everything change? This is just way beyond simple economic loss at this point, this is an event that will change for most likely at least a few years the fundamental way we carry ourselves about in our daily lives, and all of the financial, emotional, health, physical, mental aspects that go along with it. So, I see how all of society might be forced to permanently change due to this virus’s possible duration, and I realize that there’s nothing I can do to fight it, if it comes down to it. Maybe unemployment will stick around for up to a year if necessary? UBI? I don’t know. State intervention for workers in addition to federal for the duration of the virus and the record levels of unemployment? Who knows?
All I do know is that this virus is nowhere near its peak yet and I’m like okay virus, you win!
04/01/2020 at 2:58 pm #75728
The problem is that the outlook changes daily because the data we have is completely unreliable. Months ago they said the infection rate was 10x worse than the flu, but now they think it’s only doubly as bad given the unknown number of asymptomatic carriers and lack of testing overall.
The models that started off this fiasco were closed-source. We don’t know what math was going on behind the scenes, just that the output painted a situation that would have put us in apocalypse mode mid-April. We’re now a few weeks away from that and we’re not even close. A person behind one of those models later came out and said that his adjusted model showed significantly lower casualties in the US with a PEAK in mid-April.
The lesson here is that we know basically nothing. What we can be certain of is that any information coming out is likely be invalidated by the start of the next day’s news cycle. A week ago you were a paranoid freak if you didn’t donate masks to medical staff. Now they’re saying the spread of COVID isn’t as bad in countries that have been wearing masks. Oops!
One thing that can be agreed upon is that the stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines are working to some extent. If we had more accurate models, better healthcare, and more wide-spread testing (like a 1st world country would have), then we could actually give an estimate of when this thing actually peaks and when it’s safe to start loosening restrictions geographically. As you mentioned, that’s the worry – people don’t know how much longer this will continue, and anyone saying they do know is 100% lying because the data we have is rotten to the core. If you we were able to tell people that this will burn out in 6 months, then you can at least put some systems in place to keep those people above-water for that time. But if you can’t give a timeframe and just keep telling them to wait, they’ll get antsy, and then the least of your worries will be COVID.
04/01/2020 at 3:37 pm #75729
This is the problem for anyone either laid off or who works for themselves. Give us a time frame. If the goal posts keep moving, you don’t know if a three month cushion is enough. What if you plan for three months, and now its six months?
Obviously a global pandemic is mass chaos, but the government should be testing everyone. Anyone who has had the virus and is now immune can go back to work. Anyone who has the virus can be isolated anyone they touched can be tested and also isolated.
As of now, they’re mainly testing someone who shows up to the hospital already deeply ill. Of course they likely have COVID-19. They need to do pre-emptive testing to stop the spread.
04/01/2020 at 5:05 pm #75738
Yep, Cuomo said today that he expects a high rate of deaths through July. That might give people a false sense of hope that this will be over by July. Does that mean he is expecting it to be over by, maybe start easing in July or August? If it peaks in July, does that mean it will extend through September or October and that’s when the restrictions could be eased? If the restrictions are eased in the fall, will it lead directly into a second round?
Parts of China are starting to go back into lockdown again. It is impossible to look at them and see what the way out for this is.
04/01/2020 at 6:38 pm #75739
I’m hoping that in a few months we can see some states opening up county-by-county. I know Trump & Crew were floating that idea, and while I think it would have been incredibly stupid to try it in April, by May it seems like a slightly easier pill to swallow. Why should a rural county with only 6 cases stay in lockdown? It doesn’t make sense.
As for China, who knows? I don’t think anyone in their right mind would believe any information they put out – they were saying <100 people had died when it was actually double or triple that. They say the virus attacks the lungs, so that suggests that people in areas with worse air quality are probably at a higher risk of infection (see: NY and China.)
I don’t think it’s a good idea to start thinking as far out as June/July since these social distancing measures and lockdowns are relatively new. We also don’t really know how the virus will react to warmer weather.
04/02/2020 at 1:12 am #75753soniaParticipant
- Location: Northeast US
Why should a rural county with only 6 cases stay in lockdown?
The answer for my rural county is: Because rural hospitals are likely to end up taking overflow of COVID cases from the more populated areas, reducing the already miniscule hospital capacity available for rural folks. Planning for this has already begun in NY state. So the longer we can delay virus spread among rural folks, the better for everyone.
04/02/2020 at 7:43 am #75757Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Why should a rural county with only 6 cases stay in lockdown?
You open up a single county, people in other counties are going to flock there like flies on poop.
You really want that?
04/02/2020 at 11:08 am #75762
I don’t see any evidence that suggests that this is happening in any of the states with only county-specific lockdowns. It didn’t happen here. If you have sources, link them.
04/02/2020 at 8:47 am #75758
here is a site that sends you to your state’s unemployment page:
it seems that most states have a banner up top about their latest COVID info for filing a claim if you need to.
04/02/2020 at 1:26 pm #75767So Cal JoeParticipant
I saw an interesting story on PBS last night. Taiwan got the virus fairly early and was expected to have many more infected people. Due to Sars, they have a system in place to reduce the spread.
So far, they only have about 300 people infected and one death (from a person infected elsewhere).
They do a lot of testing…
04/02/2020 at 3:40 pm #75775workhorseParticipant
- Location: California
Here in California at least, Unemployment is supposedly available and easy to get, but in practice it isn’t happening quickly enough. I have neighbors who have applied and got denied for no clear reason. The measures that allow people to not pay rent are ahead of the availability of funds for unemployment etc.
In terms of why the lockdown if you live in a small county with only a few cases– how many ICU beds does your county have? Probably none.
See the problem?
04/02/2020 at 4:11 pm #75778
In our county of 25k people, there are only 25 hospital beds. No ICU units.
The county just shut down any temporary lodging for the next two months including hotels, campgrounds, and rental cabins. The reasoning is to stop people from isolating here and bringing the virus.
Understand the fear, but we just lost two months of rental income. Ouch. Hope this thing burns out quick.
04/02/2020 at 4:34 pm #75780
I said “a few months.” Once we pass the curve, I see no problem with opening up county-by-county. Resources should be freed up by then. It makes absolutely zero sense for it to be all at once. The only other choice is to wait until 2021 for a vaccine. Surely we’ve all got 14 months of savings ready to go, right? Right?
04/05/2020 at 7:23 pm #75878DantheDinerParticipant
I would like to second Julie – a 2-5% mortality rate on something that is this infectious is unreal. You can’t have a functional economy while this is still going on, even if all formal regulations were magically lifted. Those of you who don’t live in an area where this is already ravaging: your time will come in about two weeks. Rural or not, it is going to overwhelm your state and medical resources. There are people dying all around me in North Jersey. 20 from my little town, 20 from the town over, and so on and so on. The hospitals are overwhelmed and many shut down to new patients. Refrigerated trucks sitting outside each one to help with the rush of bodies. My girlfriend and I seem to have contracted it ourselves; It was a serious illness, and we are healthy folks in our 20s.
Jay, I wouldn’t expect this to burn out quickly. It is only densely populated in a few states. The second round is coming: Illinois, Florida, Virginia. And then third and fourth round and so on. New ventilators and effective anti-virals won’t be available soon. I don’t expect we are going to have a functioning country for a long time.
Jay – Ditto on your point regarding Universal Healthcare and maybe even UBI. Who would have thought that this quickly after the Yang/Sanders movements, such a devastating argument for both of those programs would come up. Prefer a work-tied insurance system? Not when up to 30% of us are losing access to work.
Thank god for the street fighter progressives who forced the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance measure into the stimulus bill. We are all formally covered by this, but I notice no one here has reported a successful bid. I haven’t tried filing because the unemployment offices are reportedly overwhelmed and unreachable. Waiting to see the process succeeding with someone else before I try.
04/06/2020 at 12:44 pm #75904
The data isn’t nearly accurate enough to say for certain if any of this is true. I live in a hotspot (surgeon general’s words, not mine) yet there’s no access to testing and the numbers of infected/recovered are “unreliable.” We were told that “the next two weeks will be brutal” a week ago here, so if you don’t hear from me in a week, well………….
I noticed I hadn’t heard anything about California in a while. After all, they were the initial epicenter for COVID-19 and stood to suffer the most thanks to lack of information on its effects and proper treatments. Turns out they’ve started to flatten the curve and currently sit at 349 dead and 15,076 total cases. Polar opposite of NY: 122,911 cases with 4,161 dead.
COVID-19 loves densely-populated areas full of people who have already been choking down heavily-polluted air for years on end. Wuhan, New York, Chicago, and up-and-coming hotspots all have this in common. If CA and NY represent best and worst-case scenarios, then we can start paying closer attention to similar areas and act accordingly.
04/06/2020 at 1:46 pm #75908workhorseParticipant
- Location: California
Yeah, the Bay area where I live was first in the country with the Shelter in Place Order, which a lot of people were shocked by at the time. It was the most stringent in the country and people thought it was an overreaction, but as time has gone on, I think it has proven to be the right decision. I don’t usually have a lot good to say about our politicians, but at least they had enough sense to listen to doctors and scientists about this.
As you said, still a huge problem with lack of tests which means our numbers mean very little, but it has given people time to prepare for the onslaught and prevent a NY/NJ situation. If they could figure out how to give people enough money to get by while this rides out thing, we’d be in a more secure place.
04/06/2020 at 8:10 am #75891HonestHatParticipant
- Location: Massachusetts
As of the 3rd, Massachusetts is still waiting on Federal guidance for self-employed unemployment. They did add this on the site “once guidance is given payments under Pandemic Unemployment Assistance will be retroactive to January 27, 2020”
04/07/2020 at 7:37 am #75933Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Here in WV, people filing NORMAL unemployment claims are running into a brick wall. Noone is getting processed – the whole system is bogged down. If they cant even handle standard claims right now then I have no hope for self employment claims.
04/18/2020 at 10:09 pm #76396thriftstorechadParticipant
- Location: Georgia
Sorry I’m late to the party. I just filed for unemployment in GA. I figure the worst they can do is say no. With almost no way of sourcing, I do consider myself affected by all this. In GA, they’re making self-employed folks file for ordinary UI, get denied, and then file for PUA. GA is supposedly going to have everything up and running on the 22nd, so we’ll see. Anyone else file? Any updates? I’ll try to keep you guys updated on how it goes.
04/19/2020 at 8:55 am #76403
We were also denied. What’s PUA?
04/19/2020 at 12:15 pm #76417thriftstorechadParticipant
- Location: Georgia
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. It’s the program they set up for unemployment insurance for self employed/gig workers like us. Were you denied for regular unemployment or the new PUA? Seems like you guys have an air tight claim – I mean your county is literally not allowing you to be in business.
04/19/2020 at 2:01 pm #76420
Thanks for the info. Ryanne says she agrees with your understanding of the situation.
We still havent received our $1200 yet. I know others who have. Its a slow, weird system.
04/18/2020 at 10:57 pm #76399ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
For your consideration. It’s hard to wrap your head around it all.
04/19/2020 at 8:56 am #76404
Yeah, its going to be a long time before things get back to “normal”. If anything, we’ll all just adjust to the new normal.
04/30/2020 at 7:06 pm #76879amandawParticipant
I filed for unemployment for my other Schedule C business (I’m a musician and there are NO gigs right now) but I didn’t file for my eBay business because it’s still pretty steady for me. What we were told to do in VA is apply for regular unemployment. Get denied. Then apply for PUA ($600/week). I did that and finally heard back with the email below which basically states once the Gov2Go website allows for weekly claims, we’ll file there weekly (not the regular unemployment claim site with Virginia Employment Commission). Also, you are allowed to earn $, just report it and they’ll award you the difference each week. Just thought I’d share in case some of you havent’ received this info yet.
Thank you filing your initial Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claim using the Gov2Go service. The stage you have already completed is for your initial application only. This is a friendly reminder that you must also file a weekly claim and report all earnings.
As a courtesy of this service and the Virginia Employment Commission, you will be automatically prompted via email and Gov2Go messages to file your required weekly claim once it is available in our system.
• The weekly claims service in Gov2Go allows you to retroactively file for PUA benefits beginning with 03/15/20 (Sunday).
• You must report any income you earned during each week you claim PUA benefits. This income is deductible from your PUA weekly benefit amount.
• We strongly encourage you to file your weekly claim(s) in order beginning with the oldest week and then each following week and prior to due dates to avoid any issues or delays with your account.
Note: If you would like to change the banking or payment information on file for your claim, please call 1-800-897-5630, then select 1 from the second option list provided, and then select 3 from the third option list provided.
No further action is required from you at this time. Later this week, you will be automatically reminded by email and in-app messaging to begin your weekly application.
04/30/2020 at 7:58 pm #76881
Let us know when they let you actually get a check. Another 3 million people applied nationwide this last week!
05/06/2020 at 11:03 am #77121TopNotchParticipant
- Location: WI
I applied for PUA about 2 weeks ago and had to fax in my full 2019 taxes. Our state says 30 days to process. I have not been employed in more than 18 months, so was able to skip the normal unemployment and go straight to PUA. I applied based on my other work, but listed reselling as additional income that is also impacted by the inability to source at auctions.
We shall see
The strangest thing to me was that the fax cover sheet had to have my name and SSN on it…which was not a comfortable thing to send to a random fax number for me.
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