A new federal law gives states the ability to open up their unemployment insurance benefits to self-employed workers. But it could take weeks before Indiana receives guidance on how to actually implement that change.
The CARES Act makes self-employed workers and independent contractors eligible for pandemic unemployment assistance. They could get money to compensate for full or partial unemployment, or an inability to work due to COVID-19.
But states can’t offer the benefits until they get specific information from the federal Department of Labor.
Josh Richardson is the chief of staff at the Department of Workforce Development. He says the agency is doing everything it can to prepare based on past disaster unemployment programs.
“Ultimately we won’t be able to really start putting together the operational work to implement these programs until we see that guidance from the federal government,” he says.
Through the federal law, all recipients of unemployment benefits can also get an additional $600 a week until the end of July.
This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.