Gig workers can soon apply for unemployment caused by pandemic


PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN/KOTA TV) - Gig workers should be able to apply for unemployment assistance via an online application next Monday, April 20.

The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation is finalizing the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance online application and has identified documentation required for processing claims.

PUA provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to people who are self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees and gig workers. This includes people working part time, or who otherwise would not qualify for unemployment benefits under state or federal law.

The Labor Department advises workers to start gathering their information now so they can apply as soon as the program goes online. Workers will need proof of wages when submitting the application.

If you worked in 2019, provide one of the following:

⦁ 2019 Federal Tax Return
⦁ 2019 1099 - Miscellaneous Income Only
⦁ 2019 W-2
⦁ Final pay stub in 2019

If you don't have any of the above documents, provide a 2018 federal tax return.

If you did not work in 2019, provide one of the following:

⦁ If working for an employer Jan. 1, 2020, or later: Last pay stub received in 2020
⦁ If self-employed Jan. 1, 2020, or later: Invoice, billing, other documentation to provide proof of self-employment

“If you are not able to provide proof of your wages, you will only be allowed the minimum PUA benefit payment of $172,” said Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman. “If and when you provide your proof of earnings, your claim will be redetermined. If it results in a higher amount, adjusted payments will be issued to you.”

A claimant can be compensated with the PUA benefit beginning Feb. 2, 2020, or the first week a claimant was unable to work as a result of COVID-19, whichever date is later. The last week this benefit is payable is the week ending Dec. 26, 2020.

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