Freelancers can get unemployment benefits now?!

Originally published at:

Unemployment, there’s a lot of it these days. With 9.6 million Americans filing first-time unemployment claims in the past two weeks, we’re experiencing unprecedented volume. But also – unemployment is covering a lot more people. Freelancers, musicians, gig workers, small business owners, part-time workers, and people who have had their hours reduced due to COVID-19 – all these folks now qualify.

I answer these questions and more:

  • Can small business owners really get unemployment payouts?
  • What is going on with the extra $600 per week? How long is that for?
  • Can musicians and gig workers get unemployment?
  • How much do I get and how do I determine my pay
  • Why is unemployment paying more?
  • What if I can’t work because my kid is out of school or day care?
  • What if my family member is sick, or at risk but I’m not – do I have to go to work?
  • What if I can’t go to my job because I’m immunosuppressed?
  • How do I “look for work” if I’m not supposed to leave my house?
  • Should I apply if I have been furloughed or have had a significant reduction of hours?

Send me your questions!

Many have questions about how personal finance is rapidly changing in these unprecedented times – it seems like many of the rules are now suspended. So I’ll be answering whatever your questions are about changes to universal credit, unemployment, student loans, health insurance – and if you ask, I will explain what’s going on with the stock and bond markets.

So, please write in your questions to or tweet me @anomalily and I’ll try to answer every single question I get in a few episodes over the next week. I’d also love to just hear just little audio updates about how you’re doing in the world. You can leave a voicemail in the US at (503) 877-4338 or you can email us a voice memo to

Oh My Dollar! news

We are having another Talking Dough and Eating Donuts: Social Distancing livestream on this Saturday, April 11th at 2PM Pacific (check what time that is in your time zone). Subscribe on youtube and hit the “bell” icon for notifications to get an alert when we go live.

We’re supporting one another and sharing pet photos on the Oh My Dollar forums, a friendly, nonjudgemental online community about money – come join us, we’re nice!

Email us any financial worries, successes, or health care questions at or tweet us at @anomalily or @ohmydollar.

Purrsonal Finance Society Members

We absolutely love our Purrsonal Finance Society Members, the folks that generously support Oh My Dollar with $1 or more a month on Patreon – and have made is so we have free, full transcripts for every show.

Thank you so much to our newest patrons who joined this week – Hank, Clayton, and Amanda!

This episode was underwritten by patrons Tamsen G Association, Galina S, Hank G, and Warrior Queen. To learn more about being part of the Purrsonal Finance Society and get cool perks like cat stickers, you can visit

Other Episodes You Might Find Interesting

Episode Transcript (supported by our Patrons and provided by DSW Transcription) is coming very soon.


@anomalily Question that H asked today after we listened to your podcast: How long after the UI is paid could they possibly ask for it to be repaid if they think it was overpaid? And how do they determine that?

I’m doing my best to report everything very clearly and honestly but struggling with the constraints of the system and I’m worried about this. I’m generally struggling with how to accurately report my income since it’s not like I have a clear “I worked X hours and made $Y” and since I’m also the business owner I really just want to have everything super clearly laid out but that’s just not how it goes in the land of sole proprietorship.

Also have already recommended this episode to H’s coworker who had her hours dramatically cut because her boss is the worst, glad to have a resource to help her understand the new laws so that she understands her options :slightly_smiling_face:


Do you know what the situation is in Oregon if a planned summer job gets cancelled?

1 Like

The situation in Oregon is currently “everything is a mess and there is no plan for how we will fix this or implement any part of the CARES act”.

No further details beyond that have been released.

1 Like

(I do anticipate that by summer, someone could qualify for unemployment if their gig gets cancelled due to COVID related reasons, but they will have to have some previous quarters of employment to pull from, though the CARES act has relaxed the base quarters requirement).

1 Like