Exceptions To Filing For Unemployment For The Self-Employed

Being self-employed comes with a lot of unique perks. You want a day off, you just take it; you never have to ask a boss. You want to take a vacation during any time of the year, you can do that, too. If your kids' school calls with an emergency situation, you can drop work and run. The one major thing that does not work in your favor is unemployment. When you are self-employed and working as a freelance agent, you typically don't qualify for unemployment benefits.

Like every law, employment law has a few exceptions where the freelance agent and unemployment are concerned. Here are those exceptions, and how you (as a freelancer) can take advantage of them should the need arise. 

You Have Freelanced Almost Exclusively for One Company for Years Before Being "Fired"

A lot of freelance agents have open work accounts with specific companies. The freelancers do the work and submit the work for pay. Generally, you would work for more than one company, but some freelancers find that this one or that one company pays so well that it does not pay to produce work for any other companies. If and when their work accounts are closed with those companies, they have no other source of income. Luckily for them, this is where the first unemployment exception comes into play. 

If you have worked almost exclusively for one company as a freelance agent for several years, you may be considered a regular "employee" of that company. As such, you may be entitled to unemployment if that company cut you off and closed your work account with them. Essentially, you worked a lot for them, made substantial income without benefits, and are now "fired," which under the usual circumstances entitles you to unemployment compensation. 

The Company Treated You Like a Regular Employee

If the company you freelanced for exclusively treated you like a regular employee, and you have proof of it, it may also be enough to sway a judge to grant you unemployment compensation. Examples of being treated like a regular employee include written warnings about various infractions on your work contract and being suspended or punished prior to having your work account reinstated. These are measures that only typically regular employees are subject to, not freelance employees. Ergo, your employment lawyer could attempt to sue for unemployment compensation on your behalf. 

For more information, consult an employment attorney.