SAG-AFTRA, in partnership with 11 other arts and entertainment organizations and unions, today sent a letter to President Donald Trump to request his administration’s help in bringing about much needed reform to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program in regards to mixed earner workers. The letter explains how an unintended flaw in the CARES Act has left many entrepreneurs, seasonal workers, gig workers, and creators with less than $100 a week in unemployment benefits. To download the letter, click HERE. The letter states:
“Workers who are “mixed earners” are currently not receiving fair unemployment benefits based on their actual income. Mixed earners are defined as entrepreneurs, seasonal workers, gig workers, and creators — such as local musicians, singers, actors, photographers, and writers — who make a mix of traditional W-2 employee and self-employment income.
“Due to an unintended flaw in the CARES Act, mixed earners are often only receiving unemployment benefits of less than $100 a week — which may be only 3-10% of their actual pre-COVID income. If corrected, many of these taxpayers’ total aggregate incomes would qualify them for maximum benefits.
“If an unemployed American is eligible for traditional state unemployment, no matter how small the benefit, they are automatically disqualified from the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for entrepreneurs and gig workers. One TV residual check, for example, may qualify an entrepreneur for a state’s unemployment program, where only that one residual check is used to determine a weekly benefit amount. The mixed earner’s self-employment income, which may be the majority of their income, is thus not considered and, as a result, their base benefit amount can be as low as $5 a week.”
The complete list of organizations that signed the letter is below:
The Authors Guild
Future of Music Coalition
Gospel Music Association
Music Artists Coalition
The Recording Academy
The Recording Industry Association of America
Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
Songwriters Guild of America
Songwriters of North America
Southern Gospel Music Guild