Unemployment Resources for Members

by Jessa Slade
April 8, 2020 

In response to the economic catastrophe of the pandemic, the United States Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The act—the third federal aid package so far—includes new unemployment insurance programs that cover small business, self-employed, freelance, and gig workers.

Information on the new programs is still rolling out in some cases and may not apply equally in all circumstances. Though RWA cannot offer individual legal, tax, or financial advice, here are some resources to help our members research possible unemployment options and financial aid during this crisis.

Quick chart to help clarify who may be covered by Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA):

Short article with more links on PUA:

Link to find each state’s UI requirements and benefits:

Article from the National Writers Union, more specific to writers:

Link to the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program page with information for sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed workers:

Because these programs are new and untested, and because the demand is high, it is still unclear which resources will ultimately be available to applicants and what the ramifications will be in terms of possible repayments, taxation, etc. Consult your personal financial advisors, and always do your own due diligence.