Self-employed, part-time, independent contractors, nonprofit employees and gig workers in Kansas should start receiving unemployment benefits by the end of May, state Secretary of Labor Delia Garcia said.
The U.S. Labor Department estimates that 10.6 million Americans work as contractors, which means their jobs tend to exist for a limited period, and they receive few, if any, benefits. An additional 16 million are self-employed. And perhaps 1.5 million are gig workers — Uber drivers, TaskRabbit workers and the like — though most of these people do such work as a second job.
These workers, who do not usually qualify for state unemployment benefits, were supposed to receive relief from the Federal CARES Act, Pandemic Unemployment Insurance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), but the Kansas Dept. of Labor’s computer system was too outdated to handle the changes.
Meanwhile, the Missouri Department of Labor said their gig and self-employed workers began collecting unemployment benefits at the end of April.
On Tues., May 12, the following Kansans can begin to apply for PUA:
Remember, in order to get this federal funding, you must first apply for state unemployment and be denied. You must have proof that you were denied when applying for this federal assistance. Payments will begin going out on Monday, May 25th, nearly two months after the Governor signed on for federal aid under the CARES Act.
For Kansans who have previously used all of their unemployment benefits (beginning July 2, 2018 or later), they will be able to get a 13-week PEUC benefit extension beginning in late May. An exact payment date has not yet been determined.
Everyone qualifying for unemployment will also get the additional $600 per week Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).
In the latest development in area COVID-19 unemployment, the KDOL timeline projects that Kansans can begin filing for PUA by May 12 and payments should be processing by May 25. PEUC is expected to be live by the end of May.
PUA benefits can be paid retroactive to Jan. 27, 2020, and last a total of 39 weeks. The payment is 1% of the person’s net income, but the benefit is subject to a minimum $163, and a maximum $370 per week. Individuals working part-time, or who otherwise do not qualify for unemployment benefits under state or federal law, may also be PUA eligible. The last week these benefits can be paid is for the week ending Dec. 26, 2020.
PEUC is available to those claimants who used up all their regular unemployment benefits for the state’s fiscal year beginning July 2, 2018, or later. It also applies to those with no rights to regular benefits under any laws.
More than 188,000 Kansas residents have filed initial unemployment claims during the five-week period from March 15 to April 18, the Kansas City Business Journal reported. That’s 6.5% of the state’s entire population. Missouri’s five-week total was more than 392,000, about 6.4% of the state’s population.
For more information or to apply for unemployment benefits, go to www.GetKansasBenefits.gov or Labor.MO.gov.
Kansas Mailing Back Pay May 9
Everyone who has applied and qualified for unemployment so far, should receive their first $600 extra unemployment payment by end of this week, at the latest. On Sat., May 9, KDOL will send out back payments for the weekly $600 payment.
The $600 per week FPUC payments can be retroactive to the week ending April 4. It will still take 2-3 days to get to your bank account or debit card.