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Additional COVID Relief On The Way

Additional financial assistance through the pandemic was expected to become available as of Friday, April 24 for contractors, self-employed, new hires and small businesses.

For Self-Employed, Contractors or New Hires:

Pandemic Unemployment Application (PUA) is available beginning April 24. The program is designed to apply to people who are usually ineligible for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI). Approved applicants will receive benefits for up to 39 weeks plus $600 per week through July. According to the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES), applicants need to fill out both the PUA application and the UI form, and need to be found ineligible for UI.

PUA applicants, including those who are self-employed, independent contractors, new hires, or those who have exhausted unemployment, should:

Screenshot: Mayor’s Situational Update, April 22, 2020

New Funding Approved for PPP

Some local banks have already put the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications up online, allowing businesses to get in line for the federal funding. Although it was thought the Small Business Administration (SBA) might reopen applications by Friday, April 24. You should reach out to your bank to see if they are accepting applications at this time.

PPP loans are designed to provide an incentive for small businesses to keep workers on the payroll, and will be forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and if money is used for business needs like rent, utilities and mortgage interest. is forgiven if you use majority for payroll. Think Local First DC encourages businesses that have previously applied for a PPP Loan to verify with their bank whether your application was submitted or if it is pending.

The House voted to pass a second economic support package the evening of Thursday, April 23, which includes an additional $321 Billion for the program. The PPP program ran out of the initial allocation  $350 Billion in just two weeks.

Work Share Program

At Mayor Bowser’s April 22nd press conference, DOES Director Unique Morris-Hughes spoke about the work-share or shared work program. The program is designed for employers who still have some hours of work to offer, wants to keep staff on payroll but cannot pay full-time. Employers can complete the Shared Work Plan Application at https://does.dc.gov/page/dc-shared-work-plan-application

Work Share allows employers to file a plan to have workers at reduced hours, and then workers can tap into unemployment benefits. Funds from the Federal Government help fill in the financial gap between those hours and full-time hour pay. Learn more at https://does.dc.gov/page/ui-tax-employers

Funding is expected to be allocated quickly. DOES has asked for patience from callers, and that online users apply using a desktop computer (rather than a telephone). Get more information on COVID-19 assistance from DOES by visiting does.dc.gov


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