It's Gonna Be Ok

COVID -19 Facts, Links & Classes for Freelancers

I know this is a tough time for all of this. It’s been very frustrating getting all the right resources and information. That’s why I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned. Here are some facts, links, and resources for unemployed freelancers in the United States. As well as some ‘isolation past times’ I’ve been incorporating into my life to keep me sane!

United States Stimulus Aid

Details: The federal government will be handing out an economic stimulus package to Americans - dependent on your income. “Single adults who have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will get the full $1,200, while married couples with no children and earning $150,000 or less will receive a total of $2,400. For every qualifying child age 16 or under, you get another $500.”

What the news is saying: If the Internal Revenue Service already has your bank account information from your 2018 or 2019 tax returns, it will transfer the money to you via direct deposit based on the recent income-tax figures it already has.

What I’m hearing from others: If you’ve owed money on your taxes the last two years, then they don’t have your up-to-date bank information. You will have to give them your bank information to receive a direct deposit, otherwise you will be receiving a check in the mail. Some people are saying as late as mid May. Personally, I still haven’t received my stimulus yet (probably because I owed tax money the last two years) as of April 25th. This past Saturday I was able to go on the IRS website and check my status & give them my bank account info for a direct deposit. The website previously was not working for people and kept reading “payment status unavailable”. But now it seems to be working!

Where to check your status: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment
FAQs: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment-frequently-asked-questions#bank

Unemployment

Details: The new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program helps unemployed Californians who are business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, have limited work history, (and others not usually eligible for state unemployment benefits) who are out of business or services are significantly reduced as a direct result of the pandemic.

•Typically, it will take about a week after you certify before you receive your first benefit payment.

•If you are eligible for benefits, you may receive your first PUA payment in about two days if you have an existing EDD Debit Card (and there are no issues that require a further review of eligibility).

•New debit cards and checks are mailed within four to seven days.

•An additional $600 to each PUA weekly benefit amount you may be eligible to receive, as part of the separate CARES Act Pandemic Additional Compensation program. Only the weeks of a claim between March 29 and July 25th are eligible for the extra $600 payments.

•The fastest way to apply for benefits is through UI OnlineSM. You can also apply for PUA by phone, mail, or fax.

My experience: The site has been difficult to navigate and understand. Applying as self-employed is a bit confusing. I applied, could not show any ‘normal’ proof of employment such as a W2 because I’m a freelancer, and didn’t get accepted into the benefit program. The EDD site on the week of April 19th showed that they were going to put into place a specific application process for self-employed people. They quoted “The EDD will begin accepting online applications for this program on Tuesday, April 28th”. This information is now off of their website and their UI Online login process is down and unavailable Friday, April 24 at 6 p.m. to Saturday, April 25 at 12 noon. I’m hoping in the next couple of days there will be more information, help and their site will be back up and running.

What I’m Learning…

Here are some of my go-to sites for learning!

Master Class with Photographer Annie Leibowitz

30 Days of Photoshop Tutorials

Lynda Courses (this is free if you sign up for an online library card!)

Makers Mess Online Crafting Workshops

Skillshare Classes

TED Talks

What I’m listening to…

I love listening to podcasts while cooking, cleaning or painting. Here are my go-tos:

Joe Rogan Podcast

The Fashion Photography Podcast

A Drink with James Podcast

New music I’ve had on repeat this week:

MAMACITA by Black Eyed Peas

Veg Out by Masego

If You’re Too Shy (Let me know) by The 1975

Virtual Hugs

Here are some fun sites to help cheer you up when you need it <3

People I’ve Loved

Music and Cats 🐱

Take a Virtual Walk Around the World - Click the go button and you’ll be transported to random street views all over the globe.

Cute Animal Stories

Watch Penguins Live

Hope this was helpful! Sending you a big virtual hug! We will get through this!! 💕Cheers, Champagne