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Unemployment Benefits for Self-Employed and Independent Contractors

If you are self-employed or an independent contractor, there are expanded benefits available for Washingtonians who have lost work because of the COVID-19 crisis under the new CARES Act.  You do not have to be unemployed to receive these benefits.  If your work has been adversely affected by COVID-19, you may qualify.

Self-employed and independent contractors who are not eligible for regular Washington unemployment benefits may be eligible for the $600-per-week Pandemic Unemployment Assistance from the federal government.

If you are eligible for Washington unemployment benefits, the $600-per-week Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is in addition to your Washington benefits.

The $600-per-week Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is available for each week you claim unemployment benefits between March 29 and July 25, 2020.

You will need to apply for regular unemployment first before applying for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Go to  to learn how to apply and follow the steps that will guide you through the application process.  Employment Security has released a guide for applying for these benefits, and a checklist to help determine if you are eligible.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.