Subject: Artists Newsletter Special: Advice on Preparing for Unemployment Benefit Applications

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APRIL 3, 2020
The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is a nonprofit membership service organization that supports its members through unified marketing, capacity building, professional development, and advocacy services. This newsletter is sent to all who request it, but we ask that, if you are not a member, you explore membership benefits and consider joining. See member benefits here. Join here..
As you may know the CARES Act created a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program that provides up to 39 weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits to individuals who are self-employed, part-time workers, independent contractors and workers otherwise ineligible for state unemployment benefits. This could be a substantial boon for artists and creative entrepreneurs in all 56 states and jurisdictions.
PUA benefits will be provided through state workforce and unemployment agencies. However, because this is a new program, states cannot start to disburse funds until they have received federal implementation guidance and have put the necessary state level systems and personnel in place. For this reason, everyone has been eagerly awaiting more U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) guidance.
We recently heard through the National Association of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) that last night USDOL issued its first advisory to state workforce agencies    addressing PUA. This is a preliminary advisory but does signal that things are starting to move. In the meantime, there are some practical action steps you can be taking to get ready:

Artists planning to seek PUA should begin assembling documentation. 

Industry experts are recommending that prospective applicants begin compiling:
  • a recent work history
  • earnings records 
  • documentation of separation or COVID-19 related disruptions. 
In most states, a social security number, physical address, e-mail address and banking information also are baseline requirements.

We at the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County have our ear to the ground and will pass along all the intelligence we receive as it happens.

David Green
Gate Lodge at Mathews Park, 301 West Ave, Norwalk, CT 06850, United States
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