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As you likely know, in times of economic dislocation such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the self-employed get no exceptional government help. For example, you generally do not receive benefits that employees get, such as unemployment and paid sick leave.
But this time it’s different. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you can qualify for the following seven benefits:
1. EIDLs. These 3.75 percent interest loans of up to $500,000 are available to the self-employed and are not forgivable. You can borrow up to $25,000 without any collateral.
2. Prior EIDL Advances. The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, enacted on December 27, 2020. It eliminates the rules that required reducing your P.P.P. forgiveness by the amount of your EIDL Advance and requires the S.B.A. to refund your Advance if your loan forgiveness has reduced.
3. New Targeted EIDL Advances. You might qualify for a Targeted EIDL Advance of up to $10,000 if (a) your business, located in a low-income community and (b) you suffered a 30 percent reduction in revenue during eight weeks beginning March 2, 2020, or later. Unlike EIDLs, Targeted EIDL Advances do not need to pay back. They are tax-free government grants.
4. Sick and family leave tax credits. If you’re unable to work due to COVID-19, or if you need to care for a family member, you can qualify for refundable sick leave and family leaves tax credits of up to $15,511 in 2020 and $17,511 in 2021. You can get up to $511 per day for ten days if you’re sick. You can get up to $200 per day for 70 days if you need to care for others. These credits last through September 30, 2021.
5. A.C.A. Premium tax credits. Congress removed the subsidy cliff (400 percent of the federal poverty level) for 2020 and 2021. You need to pay no more than 8.5 percent of your household income for A.C.A. coverage during these years. You are entitled to premium tax credits to the extent of midlevel silver A.C.A. coverage exceeds this amount.
6. Unemployment for the self-employed. For the first time, self-employed individuals may receive unemployment benefits. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program has extended to September 6, 2021. You’ll qualify for unemployment only if you’re earning little or no income.
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