Coronavirus vs. Toledo Artists

Coronavirus vs. the Artists of Toledo

What to do now:

Apply to the Toledo Arts Commission for the Emergency Grants for Artists. Emergency Grants for Artists are given on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible applications, with no set deadline. Grant amounts are available at $500, $250, and $100. Emergency Grants for Artists

File for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Below is a collection of links and articles regarding benefits that are applicable to self-employed artists, musicians, as well as other gig-workers who traditionally are not eligible for unemployment insurance, but who are now eligible through the CARES Act that was passed on March 27, 2020, specifically, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

April 17, 2020 update: Filing for unemployment as gig or self-employed worer is complicated  –

Lt. Governor Husted announced that by the end of next week, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) will be able to begin processing the additional $600-a-week payments authorized by the federal CARES Act.

The State of Ohio Unemployment Insurance website does not yet have information about applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, but since it is a national law, it will probably include the following information on the New York State Unemployment Insurance website –

Posted on New York Unemployment Insurance CARES Act information page:

Provisions Related to Unemployment Compensation in the Senate-passed CARES Act – House Committee on Ways & Means

Are self-employed workers and workers in the gig economy eligible for unemployment compensation generally or the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit specifically?

It depends on state law, but self-employed and gig economy workers do not ordinarily have coverage under the unemployment compensation system and so are not eligible for benefits (in part because they do not have employers who contribute to the UC system). However, under the CARES Act, self-employed workers whose states make an agreement with the Department of Labor will receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance based on their recent earnings and will also be able to receive the $600 a week FPUC supplement on top of that benefit. States will be reimbursed for 100 percent of the cost of administering the benefits, as well as the benefits themselves.

How Much Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Would Self-Employed Workers, Individuals About to Start Work, and Others Receive?

The amount would vary by state. All PUA recipients would be eligible for the $600 a week federal supplement. They would also receive a base benefit calculated according to state benefit formulas and using recent information about their wages, but no lower than half the state’s minimum regular UC payment.

Kohl’s, Toledo, Ohio, March 30, 2020. Photo by Penny Gentieu

The State of Ohio Unemployment Insurance page has not yet been updated for self-employed claimants. This was posted before the CARE Act was passed:

Question 19:  Is Disaster Unemployment Assistance available in Ohio?

Answer: At this time, no, but please continue to check back for updates. Additional information and support for Ohioans can be found at

J.C. Penney’s, Franklin Park Mall, Toledo, Ohio, March 30, 2020, photo by Penny Gentieu

Sylvania, Ohio, March 30, 2020, photo by Penny Gentieu

Some text on pages 84-88 of the federal CARES ACT:

‘‘(bb) the sum of payments of any compensation to or income of a sole proprietor or independent contractor that is a wage, commission, income, net earnings from self-employment, or similar compensation and that is in an amount that is not more than $100,000 in 1 year, as pro- rated for the covered period;

(2) VERIFICATION.—Before disbursing amounts under this subsection, the Administrator shall verify that the applicant is an eligible entity by accepting a self-certification from the applicant under penalty of perjury pursuant to section 1746 of title 28 United States Code.

  • (ii) provides self-certification that the individual—
  • (I) is otherwise able to work and available for work within the meaning of applicable State law, except the individual is unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because—
    (aa) the individual has been diagnosed with COVID–19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;
  • (bb) a member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID–19;
  • (cc) the individual is providing care for a family member or a member of the individual’s household who has been diagnosed with COVID–19;
  • (dd) a child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work;
  • (ee) the individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID- 19 public health emergency;
  • (ff) the individual is unable to reach the place of employment because the individual has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19;
  • (gg) the individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency;
  • (hh) the individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID–19;

(ii) the individual has to quit his or her job as a direct result of COVID–19;

(jj) the individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID–19 public health emergency; or

(kk) the individual meets any additional criteria established by the Secretary for unemployment assistance under this section; or

(II) is self-employed, is seeking part-time employment, does not have sufficient work history, or otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment or extended benefits under State or Federal law or pandemic emergency unemployment compensation under section 2107 and meets the requirements of subclause (I); and

(B) does not include–

(i) an individual who has the ability to telework with pay; or

(ii) an individual who is receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits, regardless of whether the individual meets a qualification described in items (aa) through (kk) of subparagraph (A)(i)(I).

  • (2) CALCULATIONS OF AMOUNTS FOR CERTAIN COVERED INDIVIDUALS.—In the case of a covered individual who is self-employed, who lives in a territory described in subsection (c) or (d) of section 625.6 of title 20, Code of Federal Regulations, or who would not otherwise qualify for unemployment compensation under State law, the assistance authorized under subsection (b) for a week of unemployment shall be calculated in accordance with section 625.6 of title 20, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor thereto, and shall be increased by the amount of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation under section 2104.
    Macy’s, Franklin Park Mall, March 30, 2020, Toledo, Ohio. Photo by Penny Gentieu

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