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Can self-employed and gig workers get unemployment benefits?

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Hairdressers, gig drivers, landscapers, and other independent contractors normally don’t qualify for unemployment benefits.

But these aren’t normal times. And if you are out of work you should soon be getting help.

Laura Grant, like so many people on furlough right now, is desperately trying to reach the state unemployment hotline.

Laura manages a six-person hair salon that has been forced to close. She and her stylists have had no luck getting unemployment benefits as they all work for themselves.

“I was able to fill it out and it said in the employer section, I put self-employed, so it obviously denied me.”

President Trump and state leaders have announced that the upcoming stimulus will provide benefits for self-employed and gig workers.

Stylists here are praying it happens.

“It’s been two weeks and I haven’t had any income.”

Like independent contractors everywhere, Laura and her stylists are hoping they get unemployment benefits in the next few weeks. But until that happens, they say there are bills to pay and no money coming in!

“We all have car payments. There are a couple of single moms who work here. So we are all up in the air and we don’t know what to do.”

Kentucky’s workforce cabinet says independent workers should file and the state will fix things “on the back end of their application.”

Laura hopes so, living by this message in her lobby that says, “Think positive and positive things will happen.”

If you are an independent contractor, go to the state unemployment site and file for benefits.

You should receive them and that way you don’t waste your money.

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Unemployment Benefits in Texas

If you are working and requesting unemployment benefits, you must report your earnings and the hours you worked for each week you request benefit payments. There are no exceptions to what Texas Workforce Commissions considers “work.”

Work is any type of service for pay, including but not limited to:

  • Full-time or part-time work
  • Paid orientation and training
  • Temporary and seasonal work
  • Commissions and tips
  • Contract labor and side jobs, including but not limited to day labor, mowing lawns, yard work and cleaning houses
  • Financial compensation from bartering
  • U.S. military service, National Guard, or reservist duties
  • Self-employment

Self-Employment or Odd Jobs

Examples of paid self-employment that you must report include, but are not limited to:

  • Working for only a few hours per week
  • Having your own registered business
  • Helping a friend with his or her business
  • Mowing lawns, doing yard work, or cleaning houses
  • Taking photographs for special occasions
  • Styling hair for friends, relatives, or clients
  • Catering parties

Self-employed farmers must also report subsidy/price support payments, crop insurance payments and farm disaster relief (not Disaster Unemployment Assistance) payments.

For more information, tap here.



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Drive through gig returning to Southampton after successful launch

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ONE of the country’s first drive-in concerts was a huge success and another sold-out gig is taking place later this week.

For the first time since lockdown, live music returned to Southampton on Friday June 19, as hundreds of people rocked up to a live, socially distanced gig from the comfort of their cars at the Royal Victoria Country Park.

Around 80 cars filled with music fanatics watched as Sean McGowan headlined the unique event, supported by “Bash” and “Me and the Moon”.

Peter Nicholson, founder of Sound Level – the Southampton-based company who launched the event – was delighted with how well the event went, and is looking for the next gig on Friday July 3.

He said: “The gig went superbly, everything went 100% according to plan and we didn’t get one single bit of negative feedback. It was amazing, it felt like such an intimate event.

“It was so heart warming seeing everyone have fun because it was such hard work to organise and set everything up. The social distancing rules worked really well with everyone either standing to the left of their car, or sitting on top of them, and everyone who attended was very respectful of the venue, there wasn’t a single piece of litter left on site.”

The upcoming gig on Friday July 3 will see another 110 cars full of music lovers rock up to the same venue to watch south coast Indie band Wild Front perform, with supporting artists Mauvey and Grace Savage.

While this event is sold out, it has been confirmed that yet another drive-in concert will be taking place later this month on Friday July 17, with the line-up set to be announced shortly.

Tickets cost £40 per car, with a maximum of five people per car, and all social distancing measures must be followed.



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Knoxville gig worker wins unemployment after weeks of waiting

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — For months, a gig worker, or independent contractor, has waited for her pandemic unemployment check through the federal government.

To apply for it, she had to go through the Tennessee labor department’s unemployment website, but the check never came.

Since she qualified for compensation, she called WATE 6 On Your Side’s Don Dare asking for help.

Nancy Snowden, a widow, has been out of work since mid-March. She’s an independent contractor. A gig worker who demonstrates food and drinks at places like Kroger and Walmart.

Under the federal disaster unemployment assistance program for COVID-19, she is eligible for benefits. Months ago, she went to the Tennessee Department of Labor’s website to register.

Gig workers are not eligible for Tennessee unemployment compensation, but they are eligible for federal pandemic compensation.

“They stated that gig workers were going to qualify for this. I’m a gig worker. Therefore, go ahead and send your application in. That is what I did. It took me 20 hours to navigate their system with my Smartphone,” Snowden said.

Snowden registered in April, but heard nothing. She contacted the state again in May. Same frustrating result.

“I couldn’t reach anybody, I couldn’t call anybody.  I sent emails, there was no answer. I got on their website to their chat room for them to talk to me about my problem,” Snowden said. “It listed that I was the 1,060th-some person. I thought ‘I’m not sitting here for that.’ “

The state has added hundreds of workers in Nashville to handle thousands of people filing for unemployment compensation. Being on hold for a long time is not unusual.

“I thought I did everything right,” Snowden said.

When Snowden contacted us yesterday. We sent an email to the state explaining her situation. Within two hours, there was a response.

“Oh, they said they had approved my application. I was really sweating this. I didn’t know what I was going to do,” Snowden said.

Soon, her unemployment check from the federal government will be on its way — within a few days.

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Ringo Starr to reunite with Paul McCartney for 80th birthday gig

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Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney are joining forces to celebrate Ringo’s birthday (Picture: Rex)

Sir Ringo Starr will be reuniting with Sir Paul McCartney to celebrate his 80th birthday and now all we can hear are the screams of Beatles fans.

The legendary musician will join forces with his former bandmate for his annual ‘Peace and Love’ livestream charity concert on 7 July.

Ringo – who has held similar gigs on the same date for the past 12 years – is bringing together the likes of Sheryl Crow, Joe Walsh, Ben Harper, Gary Clark Jr. and more.

‘Ringo’s Big Birthday Show’ – which will raise money for Black Lives Matter Global Network, MusiCares, The David Lynch Foundation and WaterAid – will air on 7 July on his YouTube channel.

There’s going to be at-home performances, previously unseen footage and all the nostalgia a Beatles enthusiast can muster.

The change to this year’s event comes amid the coronavirus pandemic, with concerts cancelled across the world due to social distancing measures.

Discussing his upcoming bash in a video on Instagram, the iconic musician said: ‘We’re doing something for my birthday, but it’s a little different than usual.’

Explaining how it’s going to work this year, he added: ‘Anyway I’m having fun and I hope you are.’

Ringo signed off: ‘Peace and love. That’s all I ask. Wherever you are – on a bus, down the mine, in a spaceship, in a rocket.’

Last year, the drummer was joined by the likes of David Lynch, Peter Jackson, Nils Lofgren, Sheila E., Benmont Tench and Ed Begley, Jr. as he celebrated his 79th birthday in style.

The same year, he reunited with Paul McCartney for a special rendition of John Lennon’s track, Grow Old With Me.

Ringo and Paul reunited last year too to cover a John Lennon song (Picture: Bettmann Archive)

The song was included on the former’s 20th studio album What’s My Name and also featured a musical line from Here Comes The Sun, which was penned by Fab Four bandmate George Harrison for the group.

Ringo said at the time: ‘I sang it the best that I could. I do well up when I think of John this deeply. And I’ve done my best. We’ve done our best.

‘The other good thing is that I really wanted Paul to play on it, and he said yes. Paul came over and he played bass and sings a little bit on this with me. So John’s on it in a way. I’m on it and Paul’s on it.’

He went on: ‘It’s not a publicity stunt. This is just what I wanted. And the strings that Jack arranged for this track, if you really listen, they do one line from Here Comes The Sun.

‘So in a way, it’s the four of us.’

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If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us celebtips@metro.co.uk, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

MORE: Jennifer Garner shares heartfelt advice on how to heal after fan opens up about ‘heavy’ breakup

MORE: Elton John set to relive iconic classic concerts as he launches YouTube series



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