Missouri starting to accept unemployment claims for self-employed, gig workers

JOPLIN, Mo. – The State of Missouri is now ready to accept unemployment filings from self-employed people across the state.

Toby Teeter with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce says he’s been getting information about the benefits for self-employed people. “These special benefits through the pandemic response would be $133 to $320 per week, from the State of Missouri, plus a $600 a week federal supplement.”

Toby says they’ll be sharing this information with self-employed individuals as well as on the chamber website. “Joplin is built on small business, there are thousands of small businesses in our region and we’re a hub for retail obviously, but this is a pretty big benefit to bring dollars into our economy.”

For local photographer Billy Wade, the Coronavirus is starting to hit him hard. “With the Coronavirus it’s kinda really put a damper on doing my weddings, I’ve had six to seven weddings in the last couple months since this stuff has started and I can’t do them, they’ve been postponed or they’ve been cancelled.”

He’s offering free senior photos, but is accepting donations, but even that is slow business right now. While he does photograph things other than people, that doesn’t bring in the dollars. “If I happen to go through all my savings and I don’t have enough to get through, yes I will, most definitely, I will definitely try and get my self employment, I think it would be a great thing and I’m that the state’s allowing that now.”

Click here for the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce website

Click here for the Missouri Department of Labor’s website