How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits If You’re Self-employed or a Freelance Worker
The Georgia Department of Labor is accepting applications for the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA). This federal initiative will provide unemployment benefits to people who are not ordinarily eligible.
Individuals who qualify for this initiative include gig workers like those who drive for Uber and Lyft, 1099 independent contractors, the self-employed, employees of churches, employees of non-profits and people with limited work history who do not traditionally qualify for state unemployment benefits.
According to the GDOL, it has modified the online unemployment application by adding new questions to better identify those individuals who may be eligible for PUA. Self-employed workers must still file a regular state unemployment claim first. These workers will then automatically be given instructions on the PUA application process.
The PUA program is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In order to receive benefits, applicants must apply through the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) website here.