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Can You Get a Side Gig While on Unemployment?

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Illustration for article titled Can You Get a Side Gig While on Unemployment?

Photo: visualspace (Getty Images)

With the CARES stimulus and subsequent Lost Wage Assistance in the rearview mirror, it’s become even harder to make ends meet. If you’re receiving unemployment benefits, you might be considering a side gig. But will a job disqualify you from your benefits?

No, not if your part-time work earns less than you’re receiving in unemployment insurance. In fact, you can qualify for what’s known as partial unemployment, although the amount you receive will vary by state. (Your weekly benefit payout will be based on a lower percentage of your previous earnings, but how that’s calculated depends on your state as well).

How federal programs affect your benefits

Unemployment is jointly run by the federal government and the states, but a lot of how it pays out is decided at the state level, with most states offering up to 26 weeks in benefits. The federal CARES Act provided 13 additional weeks of federally-funded Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Assistance (PEUC) to all states. In addition, gig workers that normally wouldn’t qualify for unemployment were made eligible under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Without new legislation, however, PEUC and PUA will not be paid after December 31, 2020.

How side gig benefits vary by state 

States can stop offering extra weeks from the PEUC if the unemployment rate continues to improve, and some states have already done so (Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wyoming), according to CNBC. For a comprehensive look at how many weeks of benefits are offered by each state, check out this post by The Street.

Additionally, to encourage part-time work, most states exempt a certain amount of your side gig earnings from counting against your unemployment benefit. It’s known as the “earnings exclusion,” or “earning disregard.” For example, if you made $300 in a week, and the state earnings disregard is $50, only $250 of that income will count against your unemployment benefit, per the National Employment Law project.

Most states’ earnings exclusion is based on a certain percentage of the weekly benefit, while others allow a small, fixed dollar amount (like $50). There’s a wide range, too—Tennessee has no exclusion amount, while North Dakota allows you to keep 60% of your weekly benefit amount. This greatly affects how much money you can earn while still accepting your weekly benefit check.

Bottom line

A side hustle or part-time gig can significantly increase your overall income through the use of earnings exclusions, but where you live matters, too. Since each state calculates your weekly benefit and exclusion differently, you’ll need to research your state to know exactly how your side income counts against your maximum weekly benefit. Since we’re still in a pandemic, knowing whether the time and risk of another job is another factor to consider, too. For information on partial unemployment qualifications in your state, click here.

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How Proposition 22 Blocks Cities and Counties From Giving Hazard Pay to Gig Workers

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Haney added that Proposition 22 has given gig companies legal grounds to sue and block an ordinance like this if they decide they don’t want to comply with it.

“Sometimes, as a local government, we are preempted by the states or feds, but usually when that’s the case, another regulatory body or the state Legislature is taking up the responsibility,” Haney said. “What’s the case here is that some regulations that were written into law by the companies and passed by the voters have made it impossible for anyone to provide more extensive and stronger regulations.”

Rey Fuentes, a legal fellow at the Partnership for Working Families, said California cities and counties have a history of pioneering progressive pro-worker legislation, like San Francisco’s paid sick leave program, which he said was the first of its kind in the nation.

Fuentes said it’s important for municipalities to test new policies out so that there are models for state and federal laws. “This allows for the experimentation that I think is so vital to our democracy and to developing good policy,” he said.

While grocery stores are pushing back on the hazard pay by temporarily closing locations and threatening legal action, gig companies don’t have to. Proposition 22 stops local governments from even trying to get higher wages or better benefits for gig workers, halting local experimentation with policy that could help the state’s growing number of app-based gig workers who are denied employee benefits and protections.

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IIROC Trading Halt – GIG.P – Yahoo Finance

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UK Deliveroo riders to strike over pay, gig work conditions

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Wednesday, April 07 2021
AP

LONDON (AP) — Riders for the app-based meal delivery platform Deliveroo held a strike in London Wednesday over pay and working conditions, part of a broader backlash against one of the U.K.’s biggest gig economy companies.

Scooter and bicycle delivery riders waving flags and red smoke flares rode through the streets of Central London. Socially distanced protests were also planned in York, Reading, Sheffield and Wolverhampton to demand fair pay, safety protections and basic workers’ rights.

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain, which represents migrant and gig workers, expected hundreds of riders to take part.

Deliveroo said that “this small self-appointed union does not represent the vast majority of riders who tell us they value the total flexibility they enjoy.” Rider surveys found most are happy with the company and flexibility was their priority, the company said in a statement.

The strike coincides with the first day of unconditional share trading for Deliveroo, which went public last week in a multibillion pound stock offering that was one of Europe’s most hotly anticipated IPOs this year. However, a number of institutional investors skipped the initial public offering, citing concerns about employment conditions for riders and a dual-class shareholder structure that gives founder Will Shu outsize control.

The company, which operates in a dozen countries in Europe, the Mideast and Asia, saw its business boom over the past year because of COVID-19 restrictions that powered demand for meal deliveries. More than 6 million customers order through its app each month and the company promised some longtime riders bonuses from the IPO.

However, riders say they haven’t been sharing in the success because the company has been paying them less.

The “success they claim to have had during the pandemic was built on our backs,” said Wave Roberts, a Deliveroo rider in Reading and vice chair of the union’s couriers branch. “It’s not sustainable. It’s got to the point where they’ve hired too many people. They’ve lowered the fees too much.”

Deliveroo and other gig companies in the U.K. that rely on flexible workforces are also facing looming regulatory challenges, after the U.K.’s top court ruled Uber drivers should be classed as “workers” and not self-employed, entitling them to benefits such as minimum wage and pensions.

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For all of AP’s tech coverage, visit https://apnews.com/apf-technology

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Follow Kelvin Chan at www.twitter.com/chanman

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This story corrects Roberts’ title to vice chair of union’s couriers branch.

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