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We have a number of self employed clients applying for Minnesota unemployment benefits. Certain professions such as hair stylists/barbers and massage therapists have been put out of business with the stay-at-home orders.

In our experience, most self employed people prior to the pandemic opted not to elect unemployment coverage for themselves and as such, did not pay unemployment taxes on their earnings. Even in that case, you could still qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits specifically set aside for the self employed and independent contracts.

How much is the PUA benefit?

Answer: It’s based on your net income of your most recently filed tax return. If your income was less than $24,340, you would receive a benefit amount of $234/week. However, you would still qualify for an additional $600/week federal weekly benefit under the CARES Act.

How long do the PUA benefits last?

Answer: As of now, until the end of 2020 or until you go back to work.

What is I’m still working part time in my business?

Answer: You may still be eligible. When you request your payment each week, you will have to report self employed earnings and your benefit will adjust accordingly.

How do I apply?

Apply online:

How long does the additional $600/week federal unemployment benefit last?

Answer: As of now, until July 31st. Even if the $600/week is not extended, you could still qualify for the PUA benefit until the end of the year.