CARES Act

For all of the self-employed people, 1099 workers, musicians and other people who DO NOT GET A PAYCHECK WHERE THE EMPLOYER HAS TAKEN OUT AND PAID STATE UNEMPLOYMENT TAXES. Although the CARES Act, as a federal law, now allows you all to get state unemployment benefits (to the maximum of $378.00 per week), currently the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) will automatically deny your initial claim, because their computer system first looks for a prior earnings record. DO NOT FEAR! I have spoken with someone from the VEC and they acknowledged that the problem is their software system and not your entitlement. They anticipate that it will take a few more weeks for them to update the system and, for all those who have filed and been denied, DO NOT REFILE. They advised that their website will tell us all what we need to submit in order to get benefits, and that when we do qualify, the payment will be retroactive from the date of the initial application. Also, since the Federal unemployment benefit of $600.00 per week is dependent upon the administration of the payment through the state, you will likely get that sum, when it finally becomes available, through the VEC. The problem is that we don’t know when this will all happen, and NEITHER DO THEY!

Remember that I cannot speak FOR the VEC, even though I spoke TO the VEC, and things in this area have been changing quickly. I just wanted to try to allay the fears of those like my wife, who owns a hair salon and who is currently out of business, and who received one of those “denial” letters while at the same time listening to people on the TV tell her just the opposite.

Stay healthy, stay separated, stay patient, and stay nice to each other.