Small Business Owners Apply for Unemployment


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Paystub makers are a fundamental aspect that plays a vital role in running a business. Apart from this, if you own a small business, then many other things need your attention. We all know that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies suffered, especially the small ones. The world saw that small businesses had to lay off extra workers due to fewer funds and capital. Above all, some companies shut down in this unfortunate time. But you could have saved your business by having the right and timely knowledge. If we look at the stats, then in 2020, around 8 lac people applied for unemployment per week.

Apart from this, there were around 100,000 small businesses that were forced to shut down during April-August. So, this was an alarming situation where unemployment was surging every other day. Thus, it was time to introduce a new policy to accommodate small business owners. But at first, we start with the following question.

Can small business owners apply for unemployment?

The most minor and most straightforward answer to this question is “yes”. Small business owners can apply for unemployment under the CARES act. So, if you close a business due to a natural disaster or pandemic, you can apply for unemployment. But first, let’s learn about the CARES act.


It is a federal program that came into existence to help American workers, small businesses, and families. However, the main aim of introducing this act was to improve opportunities during COVID-19. The act provides direct and fast economic assistance to the people who are in need. Recently, the American government made an amendment and expanded eligibility. Now the program is applicable in the following conditions:

Small Business Owner - PUA - EID
Image: TechAcute

The PPP stands for pandemic unemployment assistance, and EID is for economic injury disaster. So, these programs are specially designed for the people who need a helping hand for their business. Thus, now small business owners, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals are set to boom.

How to apply for pandemic unemployment assistance?

Pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) is a program that the federal government designs. However, it works under the umbrella of CARES ACT that is best for small business owners. Before corona, it wasn’t available for self-employed, but the authorities amended it due to pandemics.

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But you need to remember that the process of PUA is different from state to state; that’s why you need to research before getting into this. Officially, the program was extended to provide PUA benefits of 11 additional weeks. You can search the main website to get in-depth information. For instance, you will know other requirements like education, qualification, and application process by visiting the website. Above all, you need a 1099 form and W-2 wages to file the unemployment claim.

Requirements to apply for PUA

If you want to apply for the PUA, then there are certain conditions that you will have to meet. It doesn’t matter if you run a business where you outsource web development or run an IT company. You can always apply for unemployment if you meet the following requirements:

  • If you are self-employed
  • Searching for a part-time job
  • Run a small business
  • Currently not doing anything due to COVID-19
  • Available for work but aren’t able to find any job
  • You are advised to do self-quarantine due to certain health conditions
  • You can’t work due to imposed lockdown
  • Lost job due to COVID-19

But certain conditions make you un-eligible for filing for unemployment. But many states are in the middle of the process of updating information. Recently, the government passed a bill of 2 trillion dollars to provide employment benefits to the people affected by the COVID-19. So, if you are unable to do any, you can apply for help.

Small Business Owners Apply for Unemployment - Payment Money Accounting Dollar Bills
Image: Pablo Nidam / Scopio

Who isn’t eligible for PUA?

Here are the following conditions due to which you can’t apply for pandemic unemployment assistance. So, you can’t get benefit if:

  • You can work from home
  • If you have received sick or family leave
  • If you have another source of income
  • You can’t apply for the help if your business isn’t related to the COVID-19

But if you want to apply for the CARES ACT, you are eligible only for benefits up to 79 weeks. So, it’s better to read the requirements before filing for unemployment.

How to apply for unemployment under the CARES act?

The first step to applying for the unemployment cares act that you will have to get accurate information. In this way, you will make sure that the federal government will help you. So, here are steps that you will have to follow to file for unemployment.

  • Your paystub of the last year, and you can use a pay stub maker to generate the document.
  • EIN
  • Tax returns, both personal and business

As a business owner, you are solely responsible for filling out all information correctly. So, fill out the information that is asked by state and relevant authorities.

Benefits that you will get:

If you are an independent worker and aim to apply for the PUA program, you will be eligible for many benefits. For instance, generally, you will receive money from $40-$450 per week. But the state manager will let you know the exact amount, and it depends on your condition. If you apply under the CARES act, then you can get up to $600 per week. Moreover, you can’t apply for any other claim until the previous one expires.

Alternatives to get unemployment benefits

If you don’t get eligible for the PUA, then you have other options to take a head start. So, here are the following options that can save the business from closure:

  • SBA disaster loan
  • Paycheck protection program

In addition to this, there are other sources of funding that can help you during disasters. For instance, you can file for SBA loans, small business grants, business credit cards, and insurance policies. But there are pros and cons of all these things, and you will have to do proper research before applying for unemployment.


If you want to apply for unemployment benefits, then there are many factors that you need to consider. But there are some rules that you shouldn’t overlook because if you don’t fill out forms well, then it can delay the process. So, the best thing is to check your state’s requirements because state representatives can give you exact information. Furthermore, you have other options to explore.

YouTube: Business owners, self-employed can apply for unemployment benefits on April 28

Photo credit: The photos (1, 2) shown were prepared by Pablo Nidam. The graphic in the body of the article was created by TechAcute.

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