Freelancers and Artists

As COVID-19 has impacted L.A.’s economy, artists and contractors in the entertainment industry, along with gig workers, have been hit hard. The resources below are targeted toward these workers.

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Due to the federal government’s passage of the CARES Act, many artists, creative economy workers and gig workers are now eligible for benefits to compensate for economic impacts from COVID-19. The new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program helps unemployed Californians who are business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, have limited work history, and others not usually eligible for regular state UI benefits who are out of business or services are significantly reduced as a direct result of the pandemic. The provisions of the program include:

  • Up to 39 weeks of benefits starting with weeks of unemployment beginning February 2, 2020, through the week ending December 26, 2020, depending on when you became directly impacted by the pandemic.
  • An additional $600 to each PUA weekly benefit amount you may be eligible to receive, as part of the separate CARES Act Pandemic Additional Compensation program. Only the weeks of a claim between March 29 and July 25 are eligible for the extra $600.

To determine eligibility, payment amounts and for more information, visit California’s Employment Development Department website. EDD began accepting online applications for this program on April 28. After July 25, the weekly benefit amount will be based on past wages or self-employment income. PUA benefits range from $167-$450 per week.

The City’s Department of Cultural Affairs welcomes applications from artists and arts organizations seeking to participate in competitive opportunities, such as grants and calls for entries. Click here for more information and to apply.

The California Arts Council has put together an extensive resource page, including emergency funding opportunities, emergency preparedness best practices, and webinars featuring arts leaders and artists from the national arts community.