Update: March 30, 2020
Self-employed individuals will soon be able to apply for WI unemployment benefits. The WI DWD updated it’s COVID-19 FAQs to read the following:
What changed? The CARES Act is what changed. On Friday March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, H.R. 748.
What does the Act provide? The Act extends Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to individuals who were not eligible for regular unemployment benefits. These individuals include the self-employed. These provisions are under Title II, Relief for Workers Affected by Coronavirus Act, of the CARES Act, as the WI DWD FAQs indicate.
What about Disaster Unemployment Assistance? It has been replaced by the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for this public health emergency. Read the below excerpt from the WI DWD FAQs regarding this.
Below Original Post: March 23, 2020
- Are you a self-employed individual, and
- Do you file Schedule C, Schedule E (page 2 for partnership income), or Schedule F?
If “yes” to both of the above questions, then you generally do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits.
Why don’t you qualify? As a self-employed individual, you are not an employee of your business, and you do not pay federal and state unemployment taxes. Therefore, you do not qualify for unemployment benefits.
Here’s a link from WI DWD that provides an overview.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
But there is an exception. “(1) If the president of the United States declares the coronavirus a national disaster, (2) if individuals experience a loss of work in Wisconsin as a result, and (3) if the individual is not eligible for regular unemployment benefits, they may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance” (excerpt from WI DWD’s FAQs about COVID-19).
- Has Wisconsin been declared a national disaster for COVID-19? No, not as of 3/20/2020.
- What states have been declared as a COVID-19 disaster? Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington, as of 3/30/2020.
Go to FEMA’s website and review the news releases for up-to-date disaster delcarations.
Wisconsin DUA for the Self-Employed
As noted above, Wisconsin is not yet a disaster area for COVID-19. But if/when the time comes, here is some information that may be helpful.
The above links will help you determine if you qualify and what you need to qualify.
Note, if you are an S-Corporation or a regular Corporation, the above unemployment information does not apply to you.
For more Coronavirus Info for taxpayers and small-businesses, go to this page.