Currently, most self-employed individuals and independent contractors working in New York State are not authorized to obtain unemployment insurance benefits. However, in certain situations, the President of the United States may authorize Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA), a federally funded program that provides unemployment insurance benefits to individuals who have lost work or income in disaster areas even if they don’t usually qualify for unemployment insurance. Self-employed workers and independent contractors would be covered by DUA. On March 16, the Governor submitted a request asking the President to authorize DUA in light of impacts COVID-19 is having on New York State. That request is still pending with the President.
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