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Unemployment Benefits for Real Estate Professionals

The one issue we seem to be getting the most questions about right now is related to unemployment benefits for self employed individuals.

Good afternoon Missouri Realtors:

The one issue we seem to be getting the most questions about right now is related to unemployment benefits for self employed individuals.

Given that the provisions just passed the US House and were signed by the President on Friday, there remain some unknowns. The unemployment benefits are to be administered by each state. We have this link on our state association Coronavirus resources page to the Missouri Department of Labor site:

There are contact numbers at that link based on the area of the state where you live.

Also, I have pasted below the information provided on this issue provided by NAR. We will continue to update our website as information becomes available.

  • Are REALTORS® eligible for unemployment? Yes. Real estate professionals will be eligible to apply for unemployment insurance benefits, under the “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance” portion of the bill if they have been fully or partially unemployed due to an inability to work as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. This includes self-employed individuals and independent contractors. States use a benefit formula to determine benefit amounts. Unemployment benefits will be calculated based upon the weekly amount of compensation that the individual would have been paid as computed by the states for a week of total unemployment. In computing benefit amounts, states consider an individual’s wages based upon the most recent tax year, and net income from all self-employment that was reported on the individual’s tax return.
  • Are there other sources of money? The CARES Act provides a number of provisions to provide resources for all Americans. REALTORS® and their families and their clients, as well as most Americans, with incomes below the thresholds will receive cash payments from the federal government in the amount of $1,200 per adult plus $500 for each child under the age of 17. These payments should be sent out starting in April. REALTORS® with retirement accounts, including IRAs, can take early withdrawals of up to $100,000 from those accounts without having to pay the 10% early-withdrawal penalty. Those who withdraw such funds can recontribute them to the plan over three years or can keep the money and pay the tax on the withdrawals over a three-year period.

 Unemployment Benefits for Self-Employed

  • Self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and other individuals who are unable to work as a direct result of COVID-19 public health emergency, and would not qualify for regular unemployment benefits under state law may be eligible to receive “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.”
    • This excludes individuals who have an ability to telework with pay or individuals who are receiving sick leave or other paid leave benefits.
  • The unemployment assistance is available to individuals who are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable to work for the weeks impacted as a result of COVID-19 between Jan. 27- December 31, 2020.
  • These benefits will be administered by the states, in accordance with this new Federal law.
  • There is a maximum of 39 weeks of assistance, where the amount is equal to what is authorized under the state unemployment compensation law, plus an additional $600 per week for up to four months.

John M. Sebree, RCE, CIPS
[email protected]

* If you would like to download a PDF document featuring all of the above links, CLICK HERE.

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