Book an appointment using SetMore

Unemployment Benefits for Self-Employed workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Many American saw their job statuses change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Your field of work may have become a casualty of the various shutdowns and stay at home orders instituted by government in wake of the pandemic. In our area of Southeast Texas, we know that the oil and gas industry employ many, many people. The coronavirus pandemic was a particularly harmful event to occur in this industry given that people were not physically able or not willing to travel. When so much of oil and gas is tide into people using their vehicles for business or recreation It is no wonder why the oil and gas industry is struggling right now. 

Oil and gas is most likely the biggest most significant casualty in this area of our economy due to the pandemic but it is certainly not the only sector of the economy that has struggled as a result of this virus and our government's response to it. Think about all of the small businesses, restaurants and other service industry jobs that were impacted by people not being able to come face to face during this time. Working remotely is not an option for many people and if your hours were cut back or job was eliminated completely as a result of the pandemic then you are likely searching for answers as far as employment is concerned.

Fortunately, the world today is a little bit more accommodating of people who have lost their jobs then perhaps prior years or would have been. The reason for this is that with the utilization of technology, especially the Internet, we are better able to find work for ourselves even during difficult circumstances. You need only go to any number of employment websites to find temporary, contract and gig type work available to you here in our area. It's only a matter of you choosing what opportunities suit your skills and schedule and then making a decision to take advantage of those opportunities.

Keep in mind, however, that these opportunities typically do not pay as well as a long-term career would. If you are someone who held a long-term position That was established and offered, you benefit and health insurance then these contract opportunities are likely not going to be what you have become accustomed to. However, in the meantime while you are attempting to figure out what you want to do as far as long-term employment is concerned these contract or self-employment opportunities are ones that may be of interest to you. After all, some income is better than no income. 

Contract jobs also typically offer you greater flexibility in your schedule. Think about this in terms of being a parent. If your child were to have gotten hurt at school, needing to take a day at home to get over a little cold or if you just wanted to take a few days off for a mini vacation you would have had to have run that past at least one person at work and oftentimes found a replacement or a substitute for you at the job. In contract jobs while your long-term employment prospects may not be as good, you are short term reality is that your job is much more flexible.

Typically, in a contract job you are able to select the hours you work and how much work you actually choose to take on. There are jobs where you are paid too pick up groceries and deliver them to people, pick up people and deliver them to places, and everything in between. We saw these sort of shifts occurring in the economy prior to the coronavirus and I think this virus has only stood to speed up the transition from having people make all their transactions in person face to face to hiring persons to do the work for them while they are at home. If these type of job suits you and you value flexibility in your schedule, then you may be interested in what these jobs have to offer. 

Another benefit to working contract jobs is that you are paid a flat fee for the work you preformed. If you have ever felt like you were being underpaid for the work, you're performing at your former employer then this type of arrangement may appeal to you especially. He will not be asked to perform more or less work and to receive the same amount of money. If you are able and willing to work more, you will be paid more as a contractor. On the other hand, if you are in a season of your life where you do not choose to work as much you will be paid accordingly. For many people this is a better arrangement than A consistent work schedule that pays you consistently but does not take into account specific amount of work that you are doing on any given day. 

Consider also the uncertain status of many school districts as we head into the fall semester. Many schools are not offering much of any indication as to win In-person classes will begin again. With this level of uncertainty when it comes to where your children are going to be during the day you may not have the structure in your home that you did at this time last year. As a result, you may value flexibility in your schedule more now than ever. Once the schools how figure it out when in person classes can resume you may be able to shift into a more predictable schedule as far as your work is concerned. However, until we reach that point, you may be better off with a job that allows for greater flexibility.

How does self-employment relate to the world of Texas family law?

Now that we have covered some of my thoughts on contract work in self-employment, we can begin to discuss how this subject relates to the normal material that you read on this blog post, namely that of Texas family law. Within most any family law case we encounter numerous issues that deal with finances. For instance, in a divorce there are ample opportunities to discuss how money relates to marital splits. We need only consider topics like child support, spousal maintenance and the division of your marital state before we encounter many issues dealing with your employment and ability to generate income for your family.

Not only are financial issues a part of many family law cases but these are issues that are immediate concerns in the lives of people that are going through a family lawsuit. Finances and family law go together hand in hand many times. These are not complex business negotiations in all likelihood where payments on contracts or business deals are set to occur years in the future. Rather, family law finances and the issues related to them are usually dealt with immediately. Ask any person who as a monthly child support obligation Whether or not that application goes away if he or she were to lose their job. Once you find out that these monthly obligations are here to stay until a certain period of time then you realize just how important it is to be able to remain in position Where you can earn an income for yourself. 

The flip side to being able to meet your financial obligations associated with the family law case is that, if you are not able to meet these obligations, you will understand that a brand-new family law case will probably result. For example, if you miss a few child support payments in a row you should not be surprised to find a letter in your mailbox directed to you from your ex-spouse and their attorney. The letter will likely spell out the specific times you've missed your child support and encourage you Tim start making payments. The letter will likely conclude with a warning that a lawsuit will be filed against you seeking to enforce the terms of your final decree of divorce should you failed to make payments as you have been ordered to. 

It goes without saying, therefore that the ability to meet your financial obligations within a family law case is critically important. Without a doubt you will need to be able to 1st meet your basic obligations of providing food shelter clothing and the like for yourself but quickly after that the obligations of your family court order take precedence. This is where contract work can really be a lifesaver for you if you have recently lost your full-time job. Rather than wallow in pity for yourself and spend the rest of the time worrying about meeting your obligations a contract job can take the place of full-time employment many times as long as he needed need the job to last. 

Were contract workers eligible for unemployment benefits at the beginning of the pandemic? 

However, even contractors or not immune from the disruption to our economy that began in mid-March of this year. Many self-employed people Lost their opportunities for employment as a result of the pandemic. When unemployment benefits were extended at the beginning of April self-employed and gig workers had to wait longer than others to get their benefits. Federal unemployment assistance was expanded to cover persons who were not eligible for unemployment previously, such as self-employed or contract workers. 

Unfortunately, what occurred were delays and problems in the administrative procedures that needed to be set up in order to get payments out to the persons who really need them. This does not have anything specifically to do with unemployed persons or the manner in which they applied for benefits. It has more to do with state and federal agencies being unprepared for the sheer number of persons who would need to be applying right now for benefits. If you are in need of unemployment benefits you should do everything you can to apply and see what happens as far as your application is concerned. 

This is especially true if you are obligated to pay any kind of spousal maintenance, or child support. You likely do not have a lot of time to waste in order so that you do not fall behind in your payments. It may be in Impossibility right now for you to pay the full amount of child support that you owe on a monthly basis but you can at least make partial payments and work with your co-parent on coming up with a repayment schedule as you begin to find your footing after the beginning of this pandemic. What would not be a good plan is for you to not do anything about your last employment or income and hope things work out for you in the end. 

Just like when it comes to applying for new work you need to be proactive, the same goes for figuring out how unemployment benefits can help keep you afloat during this pandemic. Hopefully as the economy begins to open up more you will be able to find work that is comparable to what you held before the pandemic. In the meantime, you should not let your financial obligations associated with the family law case get out of control. It is a good idea to communicate to any person That you have an obligation to, such as an ex-spouse or co-parent, in order to let them know of any financial difficulties you are running into. 

Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week here in our office, over the phone and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law and how it impacts you and your current circumstances. 


Let's Get Started Together

Fill out the form below 
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.