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Unemployment for Self-Employed Creatives

Unemployment Resources for Artists

Yes, you should apply for unemployment benefits!

The CARES Act expanded unemployment benefits to include self-employed and gig economy workers – if you're a creative, that's probably you! Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is the best relief option available for self-employed creatives. Don't snooze on this!

About PUA

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • To receive PUA, you must apply for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) and be denied. Then you'll be able to move to the next step to apply for PUA.
  • Payments may last up to 39 weeks February through December 2020.
  • You'll automatically receive an additional $600 per week for 13 weeks or until July 30, 2020.
  • If you're currently unable to work because of COVID-19, apply now.
  • If you are able to work currently, but think that will change soon, apply as soon as you're unable to work.
  • Find all the most recent and accurate information at


  • To receive PUA benefits, you must apply for the standard unemployment benefits and be denied. Then, a PUA application will be assigned to your Uplink dashboard.
  • You apply at
  • Be honest on your application. What you report on your application will determine the amount you're eligible to receive per week, including if you're eligible to receive an additional $600 provided by the CARES Act. You don't need to do anything else to apply for that additional $600 per week.
  • Like regular unemployment benefits, you'll need to file a voucher every week to report income you received that week. Receiving income during a given week doesn't necessarily make you ineligible for PUA benefits.

The PPP deadline has been extended!

The deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loan through a bank or online financial institution was officially extended from June 30 to August 8, 2020. Please note that this is only a deadline extension and not the opportunity to apply for a second PPP. There is still more than $125 billion available for first-time PPP borrowers who are self-employed, gig artists, contractors, or a corporation or nonprofit with W2 employees. Just remember that you cannot collect pandemic unemployment if you're also paying yourself with a PPP forgivable loan during the same covered period.

Learn more.